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A journalist’s suicide could spark another ‘revolution’ in Tunisia

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Analysis. Eight years after the Ben Ali dictatorship, the problems that birthed the Arab Spring continue to fill Tunisians with despair.

written by Giuliana Sgrena

Topic Middle East and North Africa

December 29, 2018

Civil unrest has again broken out in Tunisia on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the Jasmine Revolution on Jan. 14. Then, as now, what unleashed the popular revolt was the self-immolation of a young man. On Dec. 24, Abdelrazak Zergui, a video reporter precariously employed at a local TV station, died after setting himself on fire in Martyrs’ Square in Kasserine. He was 32 years old, twice divorced and with two children, and had to face his troubles alone, just like all the inhabitants of the interior regions of Tunisia, which have been abandoned by the central government.

Eight years after the fall of dictator Ben Ali, poverty, unemployment, and the absence of the tourism revenue enjoyed by the coastal regions have again brought the areas that started the 2010 revolution to despair. “In 20 minutes, I will set myself on fire, and maybe afterwards the state will take care of Kasserine. Here, people are dying of hunger, they have........

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