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Arrest warrant for ex-Tunisian president

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Arrest warrant for ex-Tunisian president


Tunisia’s new government has issued an international arrest warrant against deposed president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

The country’s justice minister says he wants Ben Ali, along with his wife and family, tried for property theft and transferring foreign currency. Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 after weeks of popular protest forced him out of power. A transitional unity government has promised fresh elections this year.

Meanwhile, supporters and opponents of Tunisia’s transitional government have confronted each other in the capital as divisions deepen over the pace of change.

Members of Ben Ali’s old guard remain in the cabinet. But while some want them removed immediately, others insist it will take time.

“They need to go little by little,” said a pro-government doctor who gave his name as Labib.

“Now it is a dictatorship of the people, when there is anarchy. We must, little by little, trust each other and listen to each other.”

But an anti-government protester disagreed, saying people who have spent days in the streets to get the government out are not about to change their minds just like that.

As the post-revolution stalemate erupts into street clashes, a cabinet reshuffle is said to be imminent.

But there is no sign it will see the withdrawal of the man at the centre of the protests, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, who held the same post in the Ben Ali regime.

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