Tunisia marks year since opposition leader's murder

2014-02-06 11:33
The late Chokri Belaid. (File, AFP)

The late Chokri Belaid. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Tunis - Tunisians mark on Thursday 12 turbulent months since the assassination of opposition politician Chokri Belaid, and his family still want to know what happened despite the alleged assassin being shot dead this week.

The charismatic leftist and virulent critic of the Islamist party Ennahda, then in power, was gunned down outside his Tunis home on 6 February 2013.

The assassination was the first of two by suspected jihadists, and came amid the Islamist violence rocking the country - and the region - since the 2011 revolution that toppled a decades-old dictatorship and touched off the Arab Spring.

It triggered massive anti-government protests and a political crisis from which Tunisia has only recently started to emerge, with the adoption of a consensus constitution last month.

The authorities blamed the killing on members of Ansar al-Sharia, a Salafist group suspected of links to Al-Qaeda that has since been designated a terrorist organisation but says it rejects violence.

On Tuesday, Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou announced that Kamel Gadhgadhi, Belaid's alleged assassin, was among seven suspects killed during a 20-hour seige of a house in the Raoued district of the capital.

"[It's] the best present that we could give Tunisians" on the first anniversary of Belaid's murder, said Ben Jeddou.

But the family of the slain politician, which blamed the death on the Ennahda party, spurned the minister's comments.

"He can keep this present; killing a man is not a present," Belaid's brother, Abdelmajid, told AFP.

"We didn't want Gadhgadhi to be killed and we are certainly not celebrating his death... We wanted him to be fairly tried," he said.

"We want to know the whole truth. Gadhgadhi was not alone. There are other parties implicated and we hope they will be captured so that the truth is revealed."

'Unfinished business'

Some newspapers called the militant's death a turning point in the fight against armed jihadists. Others, including popular French daily La Presse, were less confident.

"The glass is half empty and there is... unfinished business," it said.

A group of lawyers will hold a press conference on Thursday morning on the state of the investigation into Belaid's murder, with a candlelit vigil to take place later on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in central Tunis.

And a demonstration is planned at Belaid's grave Saturday before a march into the city centre, to mark the anniversary of the politician's funeral procession, which tens of thousands attended in what became a mass anti-Ennahda rally.

Belaid's murder was followed by an intensification of violence between security forces and jihadist groups.

Some 20 soldiers and police were killed last year, mainly in the Chaambi mountain region along the border with Algeria, and two suicide bombers targeted tourist resorts on the coast.

The political crisis, which deepened following the July 25 murder of another opposition politician, MP Mohamed Brahmi, threatened to derail Tunisia's transition, amid rising social unrest, economic malaise and administrative deadlock.

But last month, following a hard-fought agreement between Ennahda and the opposition, the national assembly approved a new constitution, Ennahda stepped down and a technocratic government was sworn in tasked with leading the country to fresh elections.

Some commentators have said it took the two assassinations and the military coup in Egypt that ousted Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi to persuade Ennahda, which had won Tunisia's first free election in October 2011, to cede power.

On Friday a ceremony is planned to celebrate the adoption of the new constitution, with French President Francois Hollande and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy among those due to attend.

Read more on:    chokri belaid  |  tunisia  |  north africa

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Somerset West - 05:54 AM
    Road name: N2
    FLOODING at Victoria Street - expect delays
  • Friday Cape Town - 05:53 AM
    Road name: Wet Weather
    RAIN across the greater Cape Town area - drive with care and use headlights
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2775.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be putting too much effort into someone or something. You are doing it out of love and compassion but there is a chance...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.