Policeman dies as jobs protests in central Tunisia continue

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By Robert Hackwill
Policeman dies as jobs protests in central Tunisia continue

Protests continue in Kasserine and several other Tunisian cities including the capital as people demonstrate against unemployment and the country’s dire economic situation.

A curfew has been in place since Tuesday in Kasserine, a poor central town of some 90,000 people, where clashes have been the worst, killing one policeman.

The mood seems to evoke 2011, when exasperated Tunisians protested and kicked off the so-called Arab Spring.

People have taken to the streets anyway, defying the curfew.

““We are defending our right to work, the only way to be heard by the government is clashes; no other way. We have asked for five years but they have never responded,” said one man.

“We are a family of eight people. Who is in charge? My sister! She works as a street cleaner despite having a university degree. Eight people have to live on her $110, can you imagine that? We rent a house, and the owner has tried to kick us out for three years. For me, sunrise is not a new hope,” said one woman.

Protesters tried to storm a police station and blockaded a government compound, and every sign or banner called for work, one saying “Jobs are the key to freedom”.

Tunisia, like nearly every other country in the region, has seen its tourism industry decimated after terror attacks, and fear of more. With it accounting for so much of the economy, Tunisia is in trouble.