Several hundred protesters gathered for a fourth consecutive day to rally in the center of Remada (Tataouine governorate) on Saturday, July 11, against the death of a young man reportedly killed by security forces on Tuesday, July 7, as well as against unemployment and other socio-economic issues. Approximately 300 residents of Remada gathered demanding justice for the local youth killed during a security operation along the Libyan border.
Demonstrations are likely to continue in the near term; associated disruptions and a heightened security presence should be anticipated also.
On July 7, soldiers patrolling the border with Libya opened fire on four vehicles believed to be transporting smuggled goods from Libya. A local youth was shot dead after he failed to stop his vehicle when challenged by a patrol. It is currently unclear whether any smuggled material was found in the vehicle and the defense ministry have reportedly opened an investigation into his death. Demonstrations erupted in Remada following this incident on Wednesday, July 8, and have continued since. Though not directly connected, the protests come amid increased tensions and unrest in the Tataouine governorate.
Demonstrations have been taking place in the region since late May over an unfulfilled government promise to implement the 2017 El Kamour Agreement by creating 1,500 jobs in the energy industry. On June 30, the government approved the creation of 500 jobs in the sector. However, protest groups have demanded that the government fully honor the original quota and allocate 80 million dinars (32 million USD) in development funding for the governorate. Protests have escalated in recent weeks following the arrest of Tariq Haddad, the spokesman for the movement, on June 20. The General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) has called for a strike by oil sector workers between Sunday, July 12, through Tuesday, July 14.
Those in Tataouine governorate are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate localized travel disruption during strikes and protests, and avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings.
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