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Explosions in Tunisia

· The Prime Minister announces a government of national unity after the murder of the opposition's leader ·

Two years after the Tunisian Revolution of the Jasmin,  yesterday's assassination of Chokri Belaid, Secretary of the United Democratic Patriots Movement and principal figure of opposition to the government dominated by the Islamists of Ennahda, has caused great chaos in the country.  It also vanquished the hopes of a democratic transition.

For the moment the Prime Minister's announcement to form a national unity administration does not seem to have been enough to restore calm.  “I decided to form a small, non-partisan technocrat government which will limit itself to governing the country until the next elections”, said Hamadi Jebali, after the opposition's decision to leave the national cabinet negotiations.  They also declared a general strike for tomorrow, when the funeral for Belaid will take place.  The Secretary – killed by four close-range shots in front of his home – was in the El Menzah quarter of the capital; this is the most serious attack since the fall of Ben Alì  in January two years ago, and it has seized Tunisia in this delicate transitional phase, while the national assembly is busily engaged in writing a new Constitution.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 13, 2018

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