Unemployment and soaring food prices have resulted in civil unrest throughout Tunisia. For several weeks now, many students, graduates, lawyers, doctors, and people from all levels of society have been protesting the ongoing financial mismanagement of the country. Tunisia State TV says that a major announcement will be made soon. They may be alluding to reports that President Ben Ali has left the country, while members of his family are being detained by the Tunisian army.
In Tunisia, the army is widely seen as the representative of the people, carrying out the people’s wishes. There are even images of protesters greeting military personnel by shaking their hands and kissing them on the cheek. These are the same military personal were sent to the protest to keep the situation under control.
The Arab world is closely looking at the Tunisian riots. Similar demonstrations have taken place in Algeria. Inspired by the events in Tunisia, Jordan is following suit by protesting the issue of unemployment and the high cost of living.
As of now, President Ben Ali, who has been in power for over 20 years, is no longer in power. The Prime Minister has temporarily taken power until an election is held within the coming weeks, as per the Tunisian Constitution. Earlier in the week, President Ben Ali stated that he would step down in 2014. Subsequent protests changed the course of such plans.
For a timeline of Tunisia’s civil unrest, click here: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/tunisia/2011/01/201114142223827361.html.