Umm Muhammed Umar
Ahead of protests marking the start of the Arab Spring uprising, Tunisia has imposed a night-time curfew and banned gatherings for two weeks. Authorities claim that the restrictions were meant to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Announced by prime minister Hichem Mechichi’s office, the curfew took effect on Thursday, January 13. Meanwhile, January 15 marks the 11th anniversary of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali leaving the country.
Bloomberg reports that while Tunisia was struggling to contain the spread of the virus, there was also growing frustration with political instability in the country following President Kais Saied having dismissed his premier. Saied also suspended parliament in July 2021. The move was criticized as being a ‘coup’ and a power grab, but Saied claimed to have acted to save the country from maladministration and the corruption of earlier administrations.
Bloomberg reports that Saied annulled a national holiday marking the start of the 2011 uprising, and instead announced it would be celebrated on December 17, the day when a fruit seller, Mohamed Bouazizi, in 2010, set himself on fire after police took his cart, triggering the uprising.