Tunisia Bids Farewell to Beji Caid Essebsi

Beji Essebsi rose to prominence after the overthrow of veteran autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, which was followed by “Arab Spring” revolts against authoritarian leaders across the Middle East and North Africa, including in Libya and Egypt.Continue reading

Beji Caid Essebsi - Tunisia Politics

Tunisia’s president is recovering his health and speaking to colleagues, authorities said on Friday, signalling a return to normality after a turbulent 24 hours in which the elderly leader fell ill and militants staged attacks in the capital. President Beji Caid Essebsi, 92, a major player in the North African country’s transition to democracy following a 2011 revolution, was taken to a military hospital on Thursday after suffering a “severe health crisis”. His health emergency coincided with attacks by two suicide bombers who blew themselves up in Tunis, killing one officer and wounding several others. The attacks, claimed by Islamic State, took place months before an election and at the peak of a tourist season in which Tunisia is hoping for a record number of visitors. Alarmed by the spate of troubling news, many Tunisians described Thursday it as a “black day”. But on Friday, normal life appeared to be returning. Shops reopened in Charles De Gaulle, a commercial street, and cafes were crowded in the main Habib Bourguiba street. Tourists and Tunisians alike wandered the markets as normal. “We are not afraid, we will not give up,” said a woman who gave her name as Sana. “We will continue our lives and our democracy, which frightens them.” Tourism Minister Rene Trabelsi told reporters that the incident would not affect tourism in the country, adding that tourist sites were under tight security surveillance. “DESPERATE ACT” The presidency spokeswoman said Essebsi’s health had improved significantly and he had called the defenceContinue reading

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