|January 19, 2011||Permalink|
Beginning in December of last year, a series of ongoing protests in the streets of Tunisia escalated to the point where President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali - who had ruled the country for 23 years - at first declared he would not seek re-election, then fled the country on January 14th. An interim government was assembled, but protesters remain in the streets, demanding removal of all traces of Ben Ali's old RCD party. Protesters' frustrations with high unemployment, inflation and corruption drove them to the streets after a pivotal event, when a young Tunisian vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire after police confiscated his produce cart. Bouazizi died of his injuries days later. Collected here are images of the turmoil in Tunisia over the past couple of weeks. (40 photos total)
People demonstrate during a protest in central Tunis on January 17, 2011. After weeks of demonstrations, Tunisian protesters called for the abolition of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ruling party on January 17 amid a chaotic power vacuum as politicians prepared a government of national unity. Hundreds of people rallied in Tunis and there were similar protests in Sidi Bouzid and Regueb in central Tunisia -- two towns at the heart of the movement that forced Ben Ali to resign and flee on Friday after 23 years in power. (MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
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