In Kasserine the protests never stopped, but coverage of the protests stopped when the violence did, sit-ins became sleep ins and hunger strikes now in their tenth day are currently underway. Outside Kasserine other disruptive, but peaceful, protests are also still taking place despite the lack of news coverage.
Unemployed protesters took to the streets again today, January 28, in the governorates of Kasserine, Gafsa, Kebili, Sidi Bouzid, Beja, Tataouine, Sousse and Kairouan.
In the industrial port city of Sfax protesters blocked access to the industrial zone of Skhira.
In region of Gafsa phosphate production was brought to a halt by protesters blocking roads.
While in the town of El-Ksar, in the governorate of Gafsa, several unemployed men threatened to commit group suicide by climbing a utility post as Ridha Yahyaoui had in Kasserine. Local police did manage to bring the men down, but the incident merely highlights the sense of despair that pervades the interior regions of Tunisia.
The protests began in Kasserine following the funeral of Ridha Yahyaoui on Sunday, January, 17. Yahyaoui, an unemployed man in his twenties, had been participating in sit in protests outside the municipal headquarters with other unemployed youth demanding municipal jobs. On Saturday, upon discovering that his name had been removed from a list job candidates maintained by the municipality, Yahyaoui climbed an electric post near the sit-in. Accounts differ as to whether he was climbing the post to deliver a speech or to make a suicide threat. Whether accidentally or as an intentional act of suicide, Yahyaoui came into contact with the high tension wires and was electrocuted. Yahyaoui was transported to the regional hospital in Sfax where he pronounced dead late on Saturday, January 16.
A 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew is in effect throughout Tunisia, the first nationwide curfew sincec the 2011 Revolution.
On Saturday, in a statement through Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) Minister of the Interior Hedi Majdoub had stated that the curfew would remain in effect indefinitely “until the security conditions improve”.
The news and security risk consultancy website Menastream.com has a regularly updated map of the January 2016 protests across Tunisia. The map, which is embedded:
The Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment cites Tunisia’s overall unemployment rate for 2014 as 15% against a rate of 15.3% in 2013, and 16.7% in 2012. Youth unemployment stands in excess of 30% nationally and higher in certain regions, particularly the interior governorates of Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine.