News / Africa

Tunisians Rally Against Interim Government

A Tunisian policeman wears a red armband showing solidarity with the demonstrators in Tunis, Tunisia, 22 Jan 2011
A Tunisian policeman wears a red armband showing solidarity with the demonstrators in Tunis, Tunisia, 22 Jan 2011

Thousands of Tunisians, including some police officers, have marched in the capital to protest against the new interim government.

Saturday's rally in Tunis was one of the almost daily protests that have taken place since the ouster of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali earlier this month.  However, dozens of police force members joined demonstrators in an unusual show of solidarity.

Protesters have been calling for the ouster of all government officials with ties to the former president.  On Friday, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi said  he would quit politics after the new government comes to power.  The prime minister served under Mr. Ben Ali.

The unrest erupted in December over discontent with high unemployment and food prices.  The government said earlier that at least 78 people had been killed in the violence.  U.N. officials have said the death toll may be as high as 100.

Saturday's demonstration took place as the nation marked the second day of a three day mourning period for those killed in the unrest.

Video of Tunis protests by VOA's Rod James

View the timeline of historical events in Tunisia

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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