News / Africa

Analyst SeesTunisian Unrest as Promising, Warning to Arab World

Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Tunis, Jan. 19. 2011.
Protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in Tunis, Jan. 19. 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Yale University political science professor Lust spoke with Butty

James Butty

Tunisia’s transitional government Wednesday freed all the country’s political prisoners and announced it would go after assets held overseas by former President Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali and his family.

Ellen Lust, associate professor of political science at Yale University in Connecticut told VOA the release of the political prisoners is a welcome development, since most Tunisians feel the prisoners had been unduly punished by the deposed Ben Ali government.

Ellen Lust
Ellen Lust

“I think most people, certainly the people in [the] streets, feel that political prisoners in Tunisia were people who have been unduly punished for opposing a regime that they see as equally worst in terms of corruption and human rights,” she said.

Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa Wednesday warned Arab leaders at a summit in Egypt that the Middle East is being "broken" by poverty, unemployment and a general slide in economic conditions.

Moussa told Arab leaders the political upheaval in Tunisia is an indicator of spreading discontent in the Middle East. He said the anger of Arab citizens has reached unprecedented levels

Lust said Arab leaders find their backs against the wall in the wake of the Tunisian unrest.

“It is actually correct that the region sees a lot of unemployment, particularly among the youth. It’s not new. I think it is a warning sign to other leaders who hope that they can stem the tide of change. In many ways, they (Arab leaders) are probably more shaken now. One wouldn’t have thought that this can happen in Tunisia. So, this is a strong warning throughout the region,” Lust said.

She said leaders and citizens throughout the Middle East region are probably looking at the Tunisian unrest and realizing that the people are much more powerful than they have been.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid