Civil unrest in Tunisia is not new. Over the past years, tensions have deepened in the country, with angry protesters having multiple reasons to strike. Crippling economy, food insecurity, unemployment, to flawed reforms are some of the crises demonstrators address daily. However, the fact their government takes forever to redress the issues is what infuriates them most. Meanwhile, the condition in the nation has worsened since the emergence of covid. A significant part of the deterioration is the impact of the novel virus. Thus Tunisians spend the better part of their day holding riots. Recently they received a warning from the head of state, demanding them to stop protests past curfew hours.
The riots began amid a four-day state lockdown, a measure adopted by the Tunisian government to control the spread of COVID-19. According to the civilians, declaring a lockdown might not have been the government’s right move as it has completely distorted their efforts to revive their businesses. These protests are dominant in densely populated areas with poor living conditions.
The inhabitants of such areas, mostly the young populations and the police, dislike each other. Therefore, anytime strikes occur, the outcome is usually tremendous. It is either the officers who sustain severe injuries or the civilians. Also there have been numerous occasions where the police use extra force on the protesters, condemned by Amnesty International.
In most cases during these clashes, the police arrest over 600 protesters. Unfortunately, the majority of them are usually between ages 14 and 25. Unfortunately, young boys and girls spend most of their early life starting protests instead of establishing a strong foundation for themselves. Such practices are what contribute to the resurgence of outlaws in countries.
Why Tunisians Riot
Indeep struggle is real, mostly in developing the African States. And the biggest problem is delayed response by the government. A third of the total number of young people in the country are unemployed. Hence that’s one of the primary reasons behind the strikes.
Moreover, the Tunisian government has put in place Draconian measures, which have worsened the country’s situation. Since many are uncertain of making ends meet and the government chooses not to act, they decide to strike. The problems in Tunisia have been recurring each year. Every time the government has been making promises which they fail to fulfill. Right from 2011, Tunisians have been crying for help.
Tunisian Prime Minister Addresses the Riots
While addressing the public, Prime Minister Mechichi acknowledged that the protesters were dealing with constant economic and social problems. He appealed to the protesters to stop the chaos, looting, and vandalism.
“Your voices are heard, your anger is legitimate, and my role and the government’s role is to work on realizing your demands,” he said.
Mr. Mechichi announced that he would put in place initiative measures to allow hearing of young people’s voices and suggestions. The Prime Minister recently decided to reshuffle his cabinet. Though this verdict still needs to be passed by parliament. Currently, even Tunisia’s tourist industry suffers due to the situation. In 2020, Tunisia’s economy plunged by 9%. It has a long way to recover.