Tunisia: A Historical Context for Current Conflict

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A Tunisian demonstrator throws a rock during clashes with security forces on Mohamed V avenue in Tunis on January 14, 2011. (FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty)

Last Friday, Tunisian President Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia in response to a month-long political uprising. Yesterday, Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi formed a unity government — a government that includes officials that served under ousted President Ben Ali. But Tunisian protestors want change and most refuse to accept any government that includes members of the old, autocratic regime. Many Tunisians have never known another type of government: since gaining independence from France in 1956, Tunisia has been ruled by brutally repressive dictators.

So how has Tunisia’s storied political history shaped the country’s current political unrest? Joining us to look at Tunisia from a historical perspective is Professor James McDougall, historian of North Africa at Oxford. Kristen Chick, correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor has updates from Tunis.


Kristen Chick and Dr. James McDougall

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [1]


It is exactly to talk and analyse African conflicts but in most cases the stalement and uprising in various areas in Africa have the origin from the disturbed traditions and customs which had been the role model of Africans ways of life thus why when we consider some legitimate conflicts especially in Maghreb counties it is exactly to say the leaders violated ethics but what is the role of citizen in excuting their leaders and the future of the states.Is there any chance for Africa to experience total democracy,accountable leadership,responsiveness,and transparency or can we recall for our former pre colonial political systems is there any chance.Africans conflicts need great ability to study in order to advocate the conflict resolution mechanisms from inside the continent since the external forces has nothing to do with the settling of Africans conflicts

May. 26 2011 05:55 PM

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