Rising food prices led to an outbreak of riots in Algeria Jan. 5, with unrest continuing today in several cities. Authorities have rushed police reinforcements to towns where hundreds of youths are taking to the streets and blocking highways. There has been a simultaneous outbreak of youth riots in neighboring Tunisia, which saw a wave of angry demonstrations over unemployment last month.
Last month’s Tunisia protests began in Sidi Bouzid, southwest of Tunis, when an unemployed graduate set himself on fire after police prevented him from selling fruit and vegetables on Dec. 17. Protests were renewed at his massive funeral Jan. 5, after he finally expired from his self-inflicted wounds. (FT, AFP, WP, Jan. 6)