TUNIS - Key events in Tunisia since the December 2010 uprising which drove out president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power and sparked the Arab Spring revolution:
TUNIS – Key events in Tunisia since the December 2010 uprising which drove out president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after 23 years in power and sparked the Arab Spring revolution:
– December 17, 2010: fruitseller Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, sets himself alight in Sidi Bouzid in protest at police harassment and unemployment. Two days later rioting erupts over jobs and the cost of living. Bouazizi dies from his injuries on January 4.
A state of emergency is declared. Riots spread across the country and some 300 are killed, according to official figures.
– January 14: Ben Ali leaves for Saudi Arabia with his family, becoming the first Arab leader to step down in what will become known as the ‘Arab Spring’.
– January 15: Looting breaks out in and around Tunis targeting the property of Ben Ali and his in-laws, the Trabelsis.
– February 25: 100,000 people stage anti-government demonstration in Tunis. Clashes as police stations torched and ransacked.
– March 1: Moderate Islamist movement Ennahda legalised.
– October 23: Ennahda wins 89 of the 217 seats in a new constituent assembly after Tunisia’s first free election.
– December 12: Former opposition leader Moncef Marzouki, a fierce rival of Ben Ali, elected president.
– June 11-12: Unrest triggered by an art exhibition that includes works deemed offensive to Islam. The government blames Salafists and old regime loyalists.
– July 19: Ben Ali sentenced in absentia to life in prison for complicity in the murders of protesters in 2011.
– September 14: Four people killed in clashes at the US embassy amid protests over an anti-Islam film.
– October 5: Police fire rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters in Sidi Bouzid.
– November 27-December 1: 300 injured in clashes in Siliana.
– February 6: Prominent opposition leader Chokri Belaid shot dead, sparking deadly protests and a political crisis.
– July 25: Opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi shot dead. His family blames Ennahda, which denies the charge. Demonstrations in Tunis and elsewhere, including his birthplace Sidi Bouzid.
– August 2: The army announces a “huge” air and ground assault against militants in the Mount Chaambi area along the border with Algeria.
– August 27: Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh says Tunisia’s main Salafist movement Ansar al-Sharia is linked to Al-Qaeda and behind the assassinations of Belaid and Brahmi.
– December 12: After weeks of fruitless negotiations the main political parties pick 92-year-old Mustapha Filali as premier, but he rules himself out.
– December 14: The parties pick a relative newcomer, Industry Minister Mehdi Jomaa, to form a government of independents.