Nationwide curfew after job protests in Tunisia
Tunisia announced a national lockout after 4 days of demonstrations and rioting over "jobs and economic conditions". The current situation was the worst turmoil since the uprising 5 years ago that overthrew despot Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. There were further protests in various regions such as Kasserine and Sidi Bouzid. In Tunis, protesters obstructed a major highway and torched tyres in the street.
On 17 January 2016, a young man was electrocuted after he climbed a transmission tower to object against his rejection for a government job in Tunisia. Following the death, protests erupted, spreading overnight to several cities, including capital, Tunis. During one of the demonstrations against mass unemployment, a Tunisian police officer was killed when the young protesters overturned his car on 21 January.
In Tunisia, 700,000 people are unemployed with 62.3% of its graduates without work.
Tunisian police resorted to firing tear gas and water cannon to scatter hundreds of job-seeking protesters in the impoverished town of Kasserine. The demonstrators assembled outside the local government building and demanded a resolution to the region's desperate unemployment. The government's announcement to create "5,000 new jobs and allocation of 135 million dinars to build 1,000 social homes" failed to appease the demonstrators.
After the death of the cop, unrest spread elsewhere injuring 59 officers and the medical officials estimated about 40 injured among protesters.
France announced a relief package of €1 billion to its former protectorate to assist Tunisia in tackling its financial and social problems. The announcement was made by the French President and the aid would be given over a period of 5 years. Hollande made the declaration after he met with the Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid in Paris on 22 January.
Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi spoke to his people and said that he understood the frustration that has led to the protests but said that the instability could be exploited by ISIS extremists. In a televised speech, he said that Tunisia would "get out of this ordeal". He promised that 6,000 jobs would be given to people from Kasserine.