Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Tunisia government meets

29 July 2013, 14:00

Tunis - Tunisia's Islamist-led government gathered in emergency meeting Monday as protesters demanding its ouster dug in outside parliament after another night of protests.

Tensions have spiralled in Tunisia since the murder on Thursday of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi, the second anti-Islamist figure gunned down in six months.

Many Tunisians blame the government for the two killings, particularly for failing to rein in radical Islamists accused of a wave of attacks since strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in a popular uprising in 2011.

The government led by Ennahda Islamist party was due to begin crucial talks at 0800 GMT.

In the afternoon, the powerful General Union of Tunisian Labour (UGTT) was to convene "to decide the fate" of the country, its secretary general Sami Tahri said.

Early on Monday, a group of 30 demonstrators protested outside the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) for a fourth day running, after night demonstrations by supporters and opponents of Ennahda.

Police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, an AFP correspondent reported.

Overnight around 10 000 people demonstrated for and against the government on Bardo Square outside the parliament building.

Police vans and metal barricades separated the two camps as numbers swelled after the iftar meal that breaks the dawn-to-dusk fast observed by the faithful during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


Opposition MPs and secular politicians joined protesters calling for the dissolution of the NCA and the resignation of the government, chanting: "The people want the fall of the assassins."

On the other side, government supporters chanted back: "The people are Muslim and will not capitulate".

"Those who boycott the ANC betray Tunisia," Ennahda MP Fathi Ayadi told AFP. "We will resist until the objectives of (2011) are achieved and there won't be a coup in this country."

He was alluding to the 3 July coup in Egypt which deposed elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. Since then the Arab world's most populous nation has been rocked by deadly violence.

Tunisia's rival protesters have called for more demonstrations outside the parliament building.

But NCA speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar has called for "restraint" and urged deputies to return and resume work on a much-delayed constitution, one of the thorniest issues in post-revolution Tunisia.

Brahmi's murder has fuelled anger across Tunisia and dozens of MPs are boycotting parliament in protest at what many say is the government's failure to track down his killers.

On Monday, politician Hedi Ben Abbes, a member of the centre-left Congress for the Republic, one of Ennahda's coalition partners in the government, said he was quitting the party.

Authorities have blamed radical Salafists close to the al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar al-Sharia of gunning down Brahmi, whose body was riddled with 14 bullets outside his home.

They say the same gun used to assassinate opposition politician Chokri Belaid in February killed Brahmi.

Political assassination

But Ansar al-Sharia denied any responsibility, calling Brahmi's murder "a political assassination" which "only profits remnants of the former regime and lackeys of the Zionists and Crusaders".

Hundreds of thousands of mourners thronged the streets of Tunis on Saturday for an emotionally charged funeral procession to El-Jellaz cemetery, where Brahmi was buried next to Belaid.

Slogans vowing to "avenge" Brahmi and Belaid rose from the sea of mourners.

Anti-government protesters then assembled outside the NCA and clashed with police who fired tear gas to disperse them and an opposition MP was injured by a blow to the head, AFP correspondents reported.

The demonstrators have kept up the momentum since then and have squared off with government supporters outside parliament.

Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou on Sunday pledged to guarantee the safety of anti-government demonstrators, leftist MP Samir Taieb said after meeting the minister.

Taieb, who has been calling on the government to step down and hand over to an administration of national unity, said nearly a third of the 217 members of the assembly were boycotting its sessions.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...