Roads into the City of Fernana have been blocked by protesters following the public suicide of a young man.
According to Mosaique FM, traffic on National Highway 17 connecting Jendouba and Tabarka in North West Tunisia is currently blocked by protesters. Demonstrations began last Thursday (8th September 2016) when a young man named as Wassim Nasri set himself on fire in the city. The reason for Nasri’s suicide is reported as being due to a disagreements with the local municipality. The current wave of protests are understood to be in reaction to this.
Speaking to Tunisia Live, The Regional Secretary for Jendouba of the Tunisian General Workers’ Union (UGTT), Mohammed Basti stated that: “There is a demand of the governate of Jendouba to look into social problems, particularly within the many villages in the area that are without water.” He also commented: “Unemployment is very high. Fernana is problematic, with issues concerning both economic and social development.”
The Jendouba region is faced with numerous challenges, including unemployment, lack of local development and chronic problems with access to water. An alliance of of national organisations from the Jendouba regions have called for an emergency meeting to consider the requests of a delegation from the City of Fernana and the governorate of Jendouba aimed at resolving the issues of development and employment in the region.
According to the Tunisian Institute of Statistics (INS), unemployment in the region during 2014 was 29,764, the equivalent of 7.4% of the overall population. The majority of the unemployed are reported to be male and have only a high school education, the second highest group of unemployed have only attained primary school education. In addition to these figures, statistics show the region has the fourth highest level of illiteracy in the country. According to INS data, 110,269 people over the age of 10 years old are unable to read.