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Ennahda holds Saied and his interior minister responsible for the Aguereb incidents

November 12, 2021 at 6:59 pm

Members of the Ennahda Islamist bloc attend a parliamentary session ahead of a confidence vote on the new government reshuffle by the prime minister at the Tunisian Assembly headquarters in the capital Tunis on January 26, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The Ennahda movement blamed President Kais Saied and his Interior Minister, Taoufik Charafeddine, for the current events in the city of Aguereb in southern Tunisia, denouncing the “resort to the security approach in dealing with the country’s problems.”

This came in a statement signed by party leader, Rached Ghannouchi, where Ennahda expressed its support for the city’s residents’ right to live in a clean environment.

The movement warned that adopting these policies threatens civil peace and social stability in the country.

On Wednesday, the city of Aguereb, in the state of Sfax, witnessed a general strike against the background of the killing of a young man in protests refusing to reopen the waste office in the town.

Ennahda, which has the largest bloc in Parliament, considered that the aggravation of environmental problems in the country, especially in Sfax governorate, is due to the policies adopted since the 25 July coup, and “the deprivation of this party and several other states of governors running their affairs, as well as the country remaining without a government for more than one month,” according to the statement.

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The movement renewed the alert to “the danger of the policies followed since the president’s monopoly with all powers, the abolition of the constitution, parliament, the government and constitutional bodies and the formation of the government of Order 117.”

Ennahda warned of the “risks arising from the inflammatory and divisive speeches issued by the Presidency of the Republic and its supporters in social networks, and the hatred and violence they spread in society, with the President’s silence reaching the degree of frequency or incitement.”

For the fifth day in a row, the residents of the Aguereb area continued to protest, and hundreds of people turned to the waste office in an attempt to close it, raising slogans, including: “Aguereb is not an outfall, and close the outfall”

On Wednesday, the citizens tried to reach the waste office, but the security forces continued to suppress them by using tear gas to disperse them.

In reaction, the protesters decided to close the road linking the states of Sfax and Gafsa, denouncing the security dealings with the residents of the area, the attacks they were subjected to and the extensive use of tear gas.

The protests are expected to continue on Thursday, based on the calls of civil society organizations that reject the reopening of the waste office in the town.

In addition, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) called on President Saied to draw up a road map to end the exceptional period and end the ambiguity surrounding the general situation.

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The largest labor organizations in the country called for “clarifying the political vision and setting a path of real correction, in order to provide the conditions for stability and the continuation of building democracy,” according to an official statement on Wednesday.

The UGTT began reviewing its position on Qais Said’s exceptional measures, after he expressed his support for the president on 25 July.

The Union expressed its refusal to participate in the national dialogue, which Saeed intends to organize during the coming period to discuss the political and electoral system, considering it a “meeting similar to the popular committees.”

Tunisia has been suffering since last 25 July, a severe political crisis. It is approved by Parliament, provided that he assumes the executive power with the assistance of a government.

(This article first appeared on Arabi21 on 11 November, 2021)