Dozens of people were mobilized Tuesday in the vicinity of an oil well in the south of Tunisia, to demand jobs and investments in this marginalized zone, noted an AFP photographer.
Protesters have erected eleven tents and blocked the passage of trucks belonging to six oil and gas companies near El Kamour, in southern Tunisia, an area already shaken by months of social unrest in 2017.
They are planning a demonstration Thursday in Tataouine (south), the main city in the area.
After months of sit-ins in 2017 which had degenerated into clashes, the protesters of El-Kamour had reached an agreement with the Tunisian authorities, under the mediation of the powerful trade union center UGTT.
They had blocked the El-Kamour oil pumping station, two hours’ drive from Tataouine in the middle of the desert, to demand jobs in the oil companies and the creation of an investment fund.
The new sit-in underway “aims to ensure that the state respects its obligations” under the 2017 agreement, Khalifa Bouhaouech, a member of the protesters’ coordination, told AFP. They want to know about the 80 million dinars (27 million euros) that the state had then committed to invest each year, he added.
These social unrest occur when Tunisia, largely spared by the Covid-19 pandemic, faces significant political tug-of-war within the government coalition, where the Islamist-inspired party Ennahdha feels let go by its allies of circumstance .