Tunisian officials sacked after protests

AFP , Saturday 29 Apr 2017

Tunisia said Saturday it had replaced two senior officials in a southeastern region, days after protestors there booed the prime minister off stage following weeks of demonstrations.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed was shouted down and forced to leave a heated town hall meeting Thursday in Tataouine, 500 kilometres (300 miles) south of Tunis.

That came amid a wave of demonstrations over joblessness and perceived marginalisation of the country's periphery, six years since Tunisia's revolution ignited by similar grievances.

On Saturday the government announced that "Mohamed Ali Barhoumi (was named) governor of Tataouine and Mohamed Cherif named sub-prefect".

Their predecessors had been dismissed, as was the regional head of the National Guard, a government source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

"Other officials will follow," the source added, without giving further details.

Tataouine residents have long demanded more jobs and a bigger share of the revenues from oil extraction in the region.

Several ministers accompanied Chahed on Thursday to the town where the market, banks and shops were shuttered and burned tyres lay in the streets -- evidence of barricades erected during the protests of recent weeks.

Dozens of protestors interrupted Chahed during a speech at the town hall with cries of "Work! Freedom! National dignity!" -- a slogan from the 2011 uprising that brought down longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and sparked the Arab Spring uprisings

Chahed and his delegation had announced measures to bring jobs and development to the region, which residents claim is marginalised.

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