Tunisians Mark First Anniversary of Ben Ali’s Ouster

Posted January 14th, 2012 at 2:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Tunisians on Saturday marked the first anniversary of the ousting of longtime President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who stepped down following an uprising that sparked revolutions across the Arab world.

Thousands of people celebrated by marching peacefully in the capital, Tunis, waving the Tunisian flag and voicing approval of their freedom from Mr. Ben Ali’s dictatorial rule.

The rally took place on Bourguiba Avenue, a popular site for the demonstrations that highlighted the Tunisian uprising.

Mr. Ben Ali fled the country on January 14th, 2011, nearly a month after the uprising began. He is now in exile in Syria.

On Saturday, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended the Tunisian people for the progress they have made since the start of the revolution. He pledged continuing U.N. support for Tunisian citizens.

The Tunisian revolution sparked popular movements across much of the Middle East and North Africa. What soon became known as the “Arab Spring” prompted citizens to defy autocratic rulers and call for reforms in Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan and Libya.