Call it the triumph of people power! Tunisia‘s president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali fled his country tonight (Tunisian time) after weeks of mass protests demanding jobs and democracy.The Tunisian President’s regime is notoriously known to be oppressive but Tunisians seem to have had it this time. Ben Ali has been in power since 1987.
Ben Ali tried to calm the protests by promising drastic socio-economic change and reform and even went a step further by dissolving his government and calling early parliamentary elections in six months. However, Tunisians kept protesting and by this afternoon, he had to declare a state of emergency. Things took a turn for the worse for him when many soldiers and policemen crossed over and embraced the protestors.
Though there is a little bit of confusion in the land about next steps in terms of elections as well as concerns that Ben Ali might return before elections could be held, they are keeping themselves motivated. “We must remain vigilant,” warned an email from the Free Tunis group to Tunisians.
Watch a video about the protests covered by France 24