Angry citizens of a northwest region of Tunisia initiated a general strike five days ago, blocking the roads leading to the governorate of Siliana and Tunis (Tunisia’s capital). The towns of Makthar, Kesra, and Sidi Bourouis, which are part of Siliana, are participating in the general strike.
The primary demands of the protestors are to recognize Makthar as a separate governorate within Siliana. They also called for the government to commence new projects in the area that will help alleviate poverty and the unemployemnt situation which has become pervasive in the region.
Citizens of Siliana reported that most stores and businesses were closed in Makther, excluding bakeries and drugstores. Townspeople also stated that the demonstrators plan on continuing their strike until their demands are met. Residents living in the region of Siliana have felt marginalized, or utterly neglected, by the new government. In recent weeks this feeling of isolation has been exacerbated by interim Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, who did not extend an official visit to the region, as he did within various other interior governates.
According to the news publication – Al Maghreb – the protestors delivered their demands to the president, giving him 24 hours to address their plight. Otherwise, the organizers of the strike have stated that they will move their protest to Al Kasbah square, in front of the Prime Minister’s office in Tunis.