CROWDS have poured on to the streets of the Tunisian capital after the country's autocratic president announced a dramatic climbdown on the eve of a general strike that threatened to plunge the Mediterranean tourist haven into its worst violence yet.
Tunisia's president vowed Thursday to cut prices of basic foodstuffs, to lift censorship and to ensure police do not use live ammunition except in self-defense, and implied that he will not run again for president.
Resentment in Tunisia over rising unemployment has turned into widespread rage against the government of President Zine el Abidine ben Ali after a brutal crackdown that has reportedly taken the lives of as many as 50 people.
On Thursday, as protests continued across Tunisia, bloggers and eyewitnesses posted more video of the demonstrations online, including graphic images of protesters who have been gunned down on the streets.
The protests that have gripped Tunisia in recent weeks are, to say the least, unusual. Organized dissent in the streets is rarely tolerated in Arab states, and human rights groups say the Tunisian government has had a short fuse when dealing with opponents. But what's going on in Tunisia is all the more unusual because the protests are being organized and supported through online networks centered on Twitter and Facebook.
Washington / Morocco Board News While calm has returned to the streets in Algerian, Tunisia continues it descends into chaos. If Algiers and Tunis were rocked with unprecedented violence and mayhem, Morocco has stayed relatively calm. International observers are contemplating the reasons behind the Moroccan “exception”. Although Morocco was spared the social unrest that have plagued Algeria and continue to spread in Tunis, the Kingdom is not immune from such socio-political turbulence.