Eleven people were arrested in Jelma in the Tunis region of Sidi Bouzid (center-west), where night clashes have been opposing youth for several days to police, reported Tuesday the Ministry of the Interior.
Since the death on Friday in this marginalized city of a 25-year-old who set himself on fire to protest his social situation, residents have demonstrated their anger by blocking roads and attacking the country’s forces. ‘order, according to the spokesman of the Interior Ministry, Khaled Hayouni, and an AFP correspondent on the spot.
« Young people between the ages of 11 and 18 attacked members of the security forces during the night (from Monday to Tuesday), throwing stones at them and wounding a total of 20 police officers, » Hayouni said.
Security forces used tear gas to disperse them and 11 people were arrested, he added.
Hundreds of people have also burned tires and blocked several roads in the region, according to an AFP correspondent.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) expressed « deep concern over the state of social tension in Jelma, » which shows the « failure » of successive governments to come up with concrete solutions to problems of unemployment and development in the center of the country.
Social claims « ignored »
« Ignorance of social demands » and the use of « security confrontation » exacerbate tensions, warned FTDES, calling on the authorities to « radically change economic and social policies ».
In December 2010, the disadvantaged center of Tunisia was part of the social protest that marked the beginning of the Arab Spring. Since the 2011 revolution, this region has experienced several social unrest fueled by unemployment and poverty.
In January 2016, during the last major wave of social protest, the anger triggered by the death of an unemployed person in Kasserine had spread across the country, which had had to declare a curfew for days.