Food riots in Algeria; unrest spreads to Tunisia

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)

See our last posts on peak food, econocataclysm and the politics of the Maghreb.

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  1. Tunisia: repression turns deadly
    As unrest continues across Tunisia, one is reported dead Jan. 8 with some sources reporting three more killed by police in Tala, about 200 kilometers southwest of Tunis, and near the border with Algeria. Tunisian officials had no comment on the reports. (Reuters, AlJazeera, Jan. 9; BBC News, Jan. 8)