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Concerned at ongoing violence, Ban urges return to rule of law in Tunisia

Concerned at ongoing violence, Ban urges return to rule of law in Tunisia

President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia on his way to the World Summit on the Information Society held in Tunis in November 2005
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today voiced his concern about the continued violence and the resulting loss of lives in Tunisia, urging dialogue among all sides to resolve differences peacefully and to restore stability to the country.

“I call on the Government and all stakeholders to ensure a prompt restoration of the rule of law, and to respect and accommodate the aspirations of the people,” Mr. Ban told reporters in Abu Dhabi, where he is attending a global energy forum.

“Tunisia must regain its stability as soon as possible, to pursue the path of development and prosperity,” he said, adding that recent events highlight the need to address the underlying social and economic needs of the population.

The North African nation has been rocked by street protests in recent weeks by civilians reportedly angered by rising prices of essential commodities, lack of employment opportunities, alleged corruption and limitations on fundamental rights and freedoms. Its President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, fled the country last week amid the growing protests and violence.

“I urge all concerned parties to ensure an immediate end to the violence,” said Mr. Ban, stressing that dialogue is essential to resolve problems peacefully and to prevent any further violence and escalation.

The Secretary-General also urged the international community to support efforts to restore genuine democracy in the country.