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Disaffected Tunisian youth cut oil, gas pipelines

Young protesters in southern Tunisia demand more job opportunities, local development

Disaffected Tunisian youth cut oil, gas pipelines FILE PHOTO

By Hadi Radawi

KEBILI, Tunisia 

Scores of young people in Tunisia’s southwestern Kebili province on Wednesday shut down several oil and gas pipelines to protest the government's failure to meet their demands for more job opportunities and stepped-up local development.

Speaking from Kebili’s town of Douz, protest spokesman Fakhir al-Ajami told Anadolu Agency that demonstrators had given the government 48 hours to meet the demands, “or else we will escalate our protest activities”.

For the last several months, Tunisia’s southern Tataouine province has been rocked by similar protests by disaffected youth, which have seen sporadic clashes between security forces and protesters.

Earlier this month, however, protesters in Tataouine ended their demonstrations in return for government promises to provide local youth with jobs and to allocate more funds for the province’s development.

Al-Ajami, for his part, blasted the government for dragging its feet in responding to the grievances of local youth in Kebili.

“The authorities rushed to negotiate with the Tataouine protesters, while ignoring us,” he said.

Anadolu Agency was unable to obtain immediate comment from the Tunisian authorities on the ongoing protest.

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