Κυριακή, 16 Ιανουαρίου 2011

Chaos, looting engulf Tunisian capital ..The ghost of Tunisia is hovering over the Maghreb

Το φάντασμα της Τυνησίας πλανάται πάνω από το Μαγκρέμπ και την Μ Ανατολή. Οι δικτάτορες της περιοχής φοβούνται μήπως έρχεται και η σειρά τους και κάνουν σχέδια.
The ghost of Tunisia is  hovering over the Maghreb and M. East. The dictators of the region fear that comes their turn and make plans
Chaos, looting engulf Tunisian capital
A protester hits a policeman during clashes with riot police in downtown of Tunisia's capital, Tunis, on January 14, 2011.
In the wake of the unprecedented ouster of former Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, a new wave of mayhem and disorder have swept across the capital Tunis.

Looters and violent gangs are exploiting a security vacuum in several parts of the Tunisian capital early on Saturday after Ben Ali relinquished power to Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi and left the country for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported. Ghannouchi, who held the reins of power in the country as the interim president shortly after Ben Ali fled the country, has declared a state of emergency. 

However, witnesses say marauding groups were seen thronging neighborhoods, setting ablaze buildings and targeting people as the absence of police forces were conspicuous in the capital. 
The central railway station and a market in capital Tunis were torched by violent gangs, while in some other parts of the city gunshots echoed as well as the sound of tear gas grenades. 
The fall-out come as the Tunisian army has been called on to reinstate order and security to avert the resurgence of upheaval in the country. 
According to several witnesses in Denden--19 km (12 miles) from the capital -- the army troops landed by helicopters as part of frantic attempts to restore security in the area. 
Later on Friday, the government declared a national state of emergency, imposing a ban on public gatherings and authorizing security forces to open fire on anyone who refused to comply with orders. 

On Friday night, unabated demonstrations through Tunisia's capital, which was held to demand the ouster of the country's former president, forced 74-year-old Ben Ali to cede power after 23 years in office. 

The brewing uprising dubbed by many analysts as the worst unrest in at least 23 years erupted on December 17th, when a young fruit vendor in the city of Sidi Bouzid set himself on fire after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he was selling without a permit. 

The Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights has tallied 66 deaths since the start of the public protests in Tunisia. 
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Egyptians call for Tunisian-style demos

Tunisian youths throw stones at police forces in Tunis on Friday, Jan. 14, 2 011.
Hundreds of Egyptians have gathered outside the Tunisian Embassy in Cairo to show their solidarity with Tunisians and have called for protests similar to those in Tunisia.


Egyptian activists opposed to President Hosni Mubarak's three-decade regime also looked to Friday's events in Tunisia with hope. 

Activists are out on the streets to celebrate the overthrow of Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, who has fled the country. Anti-government demonstrations drove Ben Ali from power on Friday after 23 years in office. 

The celebrating Egyptians congratulated the Tunisian people over their victory against their government, AFP reported. 

“Ben Ali, tell Mubarak a plane is waiting for him too!” and “We are next, we are next, listen to the Tunisians, it's your turn Egyptians!" chanted the demonstrators, surrounded by heavy security. Reports say that Egyptian police have fanned out across the capital. 

From Morocco to Egypt to Jordan and beyond, the Arab world was swept by the kind of excitement that augurs epochal change. 

Egyptians, who have complained of economic hardships similar to the situation in Tunisia, are now calling for similar protests in Egypt. 

Cairo has regularly been criticized for failing to lift an emergency law in place for three decades. 

The Egyptian demonstrators said their government has failed to curb high unemployment and to lower food prices. 

Ben Ali fled the North African state earlier on Friday. 

The Tunisian authorities declared a state of emergency in response to demonstrations sparked by the suicide attempt last month of Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire after police prevented him from selling fruit and vegetables to earn a living. 

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Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia
Riyadh confirms arrival of former Tunisian president who fled violent social protests over unemployment and corruption.
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2011 07:42 GMT
Earlier on Friday, protesters gathered outside the interior ministry demanding that the president resign [AFP] 
Saudi Arabia has welcomed Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family a day after they fled an mass uprising in their country.
A statement released by the country's monarchy said the decision to welcome Ben Ali was based on appreciation of the "exceptional circumstances" in Tunisia.
"Out of concern for the exceptional circumstances facing the brotherly Tunisian people and in support of the security and stability of their country... the Saudi government has welcomed President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family to the kingdom," the statement said.
A Saudi source told Al Jazeera that Ben Ali's plane had landed in Jeddah, a city on the Red Sea coast, but did not specify who had accompanied him to the kingdom.
Earlier on Friday, after it was confirmed that Ben Ali had fled the Tunisian capital, rumours flew regarding the whereabouts of the president and his family. Sources speculated they were flying to Malta, Libya, France or elsewhere. Eventually, it appeared Ben Ali's plane had been en route to Paris, but Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting from the French capital, said that president Nicolas Sarkozy had refused to welcome Ben Ali following crisis negotiations with his prime minister.
Ben Ali, who has ruled Tunisia since coming to power in a bloodless coup in 1987, fled amid violent demonstrations and protesters who rejected his last-minute raft of concessions.
Members of Ben Ali's family, reportedly including some of his in-laws, were arrested as they tried to leave the country.
The unrest in the country began on December 17, after a 26-year-old unemployed graduate set himself on fire in an attempt to commit suicide. Mohammed Bousazizi's act of desperation set off the public's growing frustration with rising inflation and unemployment, and prompted a wave of protests across the country.

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