There are currently unconfirmed reports on Twitter that the military has launched a coup against President Ben Ali in Tunisia. The country has had protests recently over widespread unemployment in the country.
I'll update this as I hear more.
I chatted with a Tunisian friend of mine in Tunisia this evening and he said the country was under curfew and humvees were patrolling the streets. As has been reported in the media (mostly the foreign press), a number of protesters have been shot by the government and artists and musicians arrested.
Sorry this diary is so short and sparse, I'm trying to get this up quickly.
Some background on Tunisia:
For the Middle East and North Africa, Tunisia is a pretty progressive country. It's relatively stable, has been doing well economically, and is rather secular and western-focused. The first President, Habib Bourghiba, was French educated and pushed for women's right's in the country. Fast forward to the 1980's, Bourghiba is replaced by the country's" current" President Ben Ali. The country remains under an authoritarian regime but it is very safe and stable and very popular with tourists. (Star Wars was filmed here.)
Check out this article for a summary of what has been happening: http://www.bbc.co.uk/...
One of the most interesting aspects of all this is the role of social media. People in Tunisia are bypassing the curfew by communicating online. They're also working hard against government censorship of the internet to get information out. Youtube has always been blocked in the country, but Facebook has become the medium for sharing videos. The government has tried to block Facebook in the past week but they are working to get around it. My Facebook news feed has been exploding with videos and pictures of the protests and the dead for the past week.
I can answer questions in the comments because I know this is all rushed and haphazard.
Still nothing confirmed.
This is a video posted on Facebook this past Saturday of the protests: http://www.facebook.com/...
Reports on Twitter are backtracking, can't confirm whether there was a coup or not. Apparently a live reporter from Al Jazeera in Tunis hasn't seen anything yet.