Jordan fears another Tunisia

Ahram Online, Saturday 15 Jan 2011

Calls for PM Samir Rifai to step down have mounted amidst waves of demonstrations and riots which swept the streets Saturday in protest against increasing prices as well as unemployment, as authorities fear another Tunisia

People demonstrate against the government in Amman 14 January 2011. (Reuters)

Jordan’s king established a task force in the palace overseen by Ayman Al-Safady and includes intelligence and military officers to prevent the eruption of Jordanian streets in the same way Tunisia’s has.

The kingdom’s major cities were surrounded by tanks and their check points and barriers were situated at the entrances to resist Jordan’s so called “day of rage” which went off Friday.

Protests spread out across major Jordanian cities as if inspired by the Tunisian example, in an unprecedented event led by the city of Al-Karak. The uprising was a clear statement against corruption, unemployment, and nepotism.

Baathists, especially those from Karak and Irbid, and military retirees led the campaign which the Muslim Brotherhood refused to take part in it.

Amman’s march initiated in front of Imam Al-Husseini’s mosque in the centre of the capital where the demonstrators, exhausted by inflation, called for the dissolution of government. About 5 thousand protested shouting anti-government statements.

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