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They gathered in their thousands, in the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Tunisians have been marking the first anniversary of the ousting of President Ben Ali.

They filled Bourguiba Avenue in the capital Tunis, the scene of protests which forced the president to flee the country.

“We want to express ourselves freely,” one woman said.

“We want to show that one year on, life has changed. We’re still optimistic and want to show the perfect Tunisia we’re dreaming of.”

Despite some progress in Tunisia, problems of poverty, unemployment and corruption remain.

“Our revolution is not over yet,” one Tunisian warned.

“We’re on our way, but there is still a lot to do to get jobs, dignity and liberty. The demands of the Tunisian people have not been realised yet.”

Meanwhile, leaders of Tunisia’s new government hosted a celebration ceremony to mark the anniversary. Visiting officials from Qatar, Libya and Algeria were among those who attended.

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