Protesters said they did not feel prepared to confront internal security threats; they also called for the passage of a law criminalizing attacks on police men, security forces, and intervention units, according to Nabil Yaakoubi, deputy general secretary of the National Union of the Interior Security Forces.
Yaakoubi said that security forces are exposed to daily attacks and that they and their families need to be protected by law.
Demonstrators also demanded serious dialogue between members of the security apparatus and government and improved wages and working conditions, Yaakoubi said.
He said security forces resorted to protest because the negotiations held with the Ministry of Interior during the past two weeks did not lead to a realization of their demands. A general meeting on January 26 of around 5,000 national guard, security agents, and unionists focused on the perceived neglect by the Ministry of Interior.
“We realized that the government is pursuing a procrastination policy as it did not deal seriously with our claims,” Yaakoubi said.
Yet, a preliminary agreement that security officers will receive financial compensation for the risk associated with their work emerged out of recent negotiations, according to Lassaad Kchaou, secretary general of The Union of the General Administration of Intervention Units.
As a reaction to yesterday’s protest, Minister of Interior Ali Laarayedh posted a video on the ministry’s official Facebook page instructing security forces to remain impartial and to not use their position to serve political interests.