On Saturday Tunisia marked the sixth revolution anniversary of the fall of Tunisian dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, an event which came as a result of the Arab spring.
The anniversary was marked in a low-key way, without extravagant fanfares and other celebratory paraphernalia.
The revolution anniversary saw the president’s convoy stoned as others staged protests in different parts of the country against unemployment.
In Sidi Bouzid, the same town a fruit vendor set himself ablaze in protest against unemployment and police harassment– the particular event which sparked the Arab spring–saw demonstrators chanting “Work is a right, bunch of thieves”, as well as other slogans from the Arab spring revolution.
In the capital city, Tunis, political and civil society groups gathered on Habib Bourguiba Avenue. Other than that, there was nothing that implied a ” celebration” in the northern African country.
The government acknowledged its failure to meet political and social demands. Tunisia’s Prime Minister Youssef Chahed particularly said on national television on Friday that the authorities have failed to address the grievances of the Tunisian people that had ignited the 2011 Arab spring revolution.
“If we want this democracy to become strong and resistant, we must achieve the economic and social objectives of the revolution, namely the economy and dignity,”
“Today, we are not achieving this because unemployment and social inequalities have increased.”
On Saturday, however, President Beji Caid Essebsi, during a visit to the province of Gafsa, announced a set of new projects that will be implemented.
A year ago, a wave of protests erupted in Tunisia against unemployment, causing the government to set up a curfew. The protests were particularly sparked by the death of a graduate who died in protest against his inability to get a job.
The student, whose name was Reda Yahyaoui, a 28-year-old, was denied a government job. He was electrocuted to his death when he climbed a power pole to revolt.