Tunisian Graduates Stage a Sit-in Protest against the Country's Unemployment

Tunisian Graduates Stage a Sit-in Protest against the Country's Unemployment
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:43:29

Graduates in Tunisia's impoverished town of Kasserine stage a sit-in to protest against the country's high unemployment rates.

Kasserine resident Ahmad Alaoui Said to Reuters: "We are asking for jobs, development. Unemployment rates rise to 80%, they are all almost outlawed. Poverty drives to terrorism, poverty drives to delinquency, poverty drives to robbery, and poverty drives to crime."

Imad another Kasserine resident said: "The only claim of this sit-in is employment. Everybody here says I have the right to work. If we have Tunisian nationality we must work. You as a minister must give me a job."

Basmah said : "We are having a sit in for a single right, to achieve national dignity in Kasserine, that has been forgotten for five years. Those who have graduated and those who have not, both didn't find a job, even those with a PHD cannot find a position here. So, we have been waiting in silence. They asked for patience, one, two, three years, but we have nothing."

This week Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid has pleaded for "patience" following a wave of violent demonstrations against poverty and unemployment, the worst social unrest since the 2011 revolution.

Essid spoke on Saturday after chairing an emergency cabinet meeting, as authorities said a night-time nation-wide curfew would be indefinite.

Tunisia "is in danger despite the positive things which we have accomplished, particularly the transition towards democracy", Essid said, urging people to "understand that there are difficulties".

"Solutions exist, but some patience and optimism are needed," Essid added.

Thousands of dissatisfied people have taken to the streets in recent days, demanding immediate action against unemployment and poor economic conditions.

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