Tunisia relaxes curfew as police take to the streets

Tunisia relaxes curfew as police take to the streets
Tunisia relaxed a nationwide curfew imposed last week on Monday while police officer protested for better working conditions.
2 min read
26 January, 2016
Thousands of police protested in the capital on Monday [AFP]

Tunisia announced that it is relaxing a nationwide curfew imposed last week in the face of widespread anti-unemployment protests, which spread into violence.

The curfew will now only be enforced from 10pm to 5am, two hours less than before.

Tunis said the order could be relaxed after improved security situation in the country for the .

The curfew went into force Friday after protests by unemployed young people spread nationwide.

Demonstrations were triggered by the death of a young man in the city of Kasserine who was electrocuted when he climbed a transmission tower to protest about losing out on a government job.

As relative calm returned, thousands of police officers protested in front of the presidential palace demanding better pay.

Riyad al-Rizqi, a police union spokesman told The New Arab that thousands of police, security and correctional officers took part in the protest after their demands for improved conditions were ignored.

The police union that called for the protests had asked its on duty members to redouble their efforts to ensure security lapses did not take place during the protest.

A police source within the protesters told The New Arab that those taking part in Monday's protests were all off duty officers.

Tunisia has faced an economic downturn, compacted by extremist attacks on European holidaymakers, which devastated local tourism, since a revolution brought democracy to the country five year ago.

Unemployment rates had risen to 15.3 percent by the end of 2015 compared with 12 percent in 2010, driven by poor economic growth and a decline in investment in both public and private sectors.

The country received a lifeline in the form of a $1.1 billion aid package from France last week, which brought the country's crisis "under control", according to Prime Minister Habib Essid.

Many Tunisians, however, will wait for the government's development plans scheduled to be released on Wednesday, to see the real results of the aid package.