Tunisia since the fall of Ben Ali

AFP , Sunday 23 Nov 2014

Ben Ali
File Photo: Tunisia's ousted President Ben Ali (Photo: Reuters)

Timeline of developments in Tunisia since the fall of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who in January 2011 became the first leader to step down in what became known as the Arab Spring:

-- 2011 --

- January 14: Under massive popular pressure over unemployment and inflation, Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia with his family after 23 years in power.

- February 25: 100,000 people stage an anti-government demonstration in Tunis. Clashes erupt as police stations are torched and ransacked.

- February 27: Ben Ali's last premier, Mohamed Ghannouchi, replaced by Beji Caid Essebsi.

- October 27-28: Violence erupts in the central town of Sidi Bouzid after results of Tunisia's first free election are announced, in which the newly-legalised Islamist movement Ennahda wins 89 of 217 seats in a constituent assembly.

-- 2012 --

- June 11-12: Unrest triggered by an art exhibition of work deemed offensive to Islam. The government blames hardline Salafists and old regime loyalists.

- September 14: Four people killed in clashes at the US embassy amid protests over an anti-Islam film.

- November 27-December 1: 300 people injured in clashes between police and protesters in Siliana, southwest of Tunis, as unrest escalates.

-- 2013 --

- February 6: Prominent opposition leader Chokri Belaid shot dead, triggering deadly protests and a political crisis that brings down Islamist prime minister Hamadi Jebali.

- July 25: Opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi shot dead, also by suspected jihadists.

- July 29: Eight soldiers are killed in Mount Chaambi area near Algeria where Tunisian forces have been hunting an Al-Qaeda-linked group since December. On August 2, the army announces a huge operation against Islamist militants in the area.

-- 2014 --

- January 26: A new constitution adopted after months of negotiations.

- January 29: A new technocrat government led by Mehdi Jomaa takes over from the Islamist-led Ennahda coalition.

- July 16: Suspected jihadists kill 15 soldiers in the Mount Chaambi region, the deadliest such attack in the army's history.

- October 24: Police kill six suspected militants, five of them women, in a raid on a suburban house after a 28-hour standoff, fanning tensions ahead of parliamentary polls.

- October 26: The secular Nidaa Tounes party led by Essebsi comes top in legislative polls conceded by Ennahda, winning 85 of 217 parliamentary seats.

- November 1: Campaigning begins for a presidential election, with Essebsi seen as the frontrunner.

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