Tunisians protest after Arab Spring anniversary

Throwing stones and gasoline bombs the streets in Tunisia's capital were on fire late Monday, as hundreds of young people clashed with police.

Protests erupted following the 10 year anniversary of a revolution that was sparked when a fruit seller set himself on fire protesting over similar issues, and inspired a wave of revolt known as the Arab Spring.

In Tunisia it brought democracy but few have seen material gains and anger has been growing at the dire prospects for jobs and poor state services.

Around 300 young men confronted police and violence followed in several Tunisian cities.

With no clear agenda, it's uncertain what direction the demonstrations are moving towards, or whether they will die down, as there's no clear political leadership or backing from major parties.

There were no slogans chanted on Monday, but one protester who spoke to Reuters said the goal was to expose their daily struggles, calling for jobs and dignity.

After shaking off the shackles of autocratic rule, Tunisia was heading towards an economic crisis even before the global coronavirus pandemic.

Tanks were deployed on the streets on Sunday and over 600 people -- mostly teenagers -- were detained by police.

Human rights groups are calling for restraint, citing footage of police beating and dragging protesters.

Video Transcript

- Throwing stones and gasoline bombs, the streets in Tunisia's capital were on fire late Monday, as hundreds of young people clashed with police. Protests erupted days after the 10-year anniversary of the Arab Spring that was sparked when a fruit seller set himself on fire and inspired a wave of revolt across North Africa and the Middle East

In Tunisia it brought democracy, but little material gain. Anger has been growing over joblessness and poor state services. Around 300 young men confronted police in the capital's Ettadhamen's district and violence followed in several Tunisian cities.

It's uncertain whether demonstrations will last without clear political leadership or backing from major political parties. The crowd in Ettadhamen chanted no slogans on Monday, as they clashed with police. But a recently graduated young protester who spoke to Reuters said the goal was to expose their daily struggles, calling for jobs and dignity.

Tunisia was headed toward an economic crisis even before the global health crisis. Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi named 12 new ministers on the weekend in the cabinet reshuffle, kin an effort to inject new blood into the government amid the rising political tensions.

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