Thursday Feb 14, 201308:46 PM GMT
Tunisians denounce France interference
People hold anti-France placards during a protest in front of the French embassy in Tunis, Tunisia on February 14, 2013.
People hold anti-France placards during a protest in front of the French embassy in Tunis, Tunisia on February 14, 2013.
Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:45PM
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Tunisians have rallied in the capital, Tunis to denounce France’s interference in their country’s affairs.

On Thursday, protesters gathered outside the French embassy in the city, where they chanted anti-France slogans. Reports say that protesters carried banners that read “France, go away.”

Demonstrators condemned what they called France's interference in Tunisian politics.

“We are asking France to not interfere in our internal affairs and to not create a civil war, because the biggest beneficiary of the Muslim renaissance will first be Europe, and Islam will be for all humans because Islam doesn't differentiate between French and Arabic or between a black and white,” said a protester during the rally.

This comes after comments by the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls last week about the assassination of an opposition politician in Tunisia. Valls said that Islamic groups could be behind the assassination of the leftist opposition leader Shokri Belaid.

The opposition figure was shot dead outside his home on February 6 by unknown assailants. The incident triggered anti-government protests across the North African country.

Some analysts say the assassination is highly suspicious. They say it might have been orchestrated to turn the public against the Ennahda Islamic Party that dominates the country’s ruling coalition. They also hold the assassination was carried out to prevent the formulation of the country’s constitution according to Islamic law.

In January 2011, the country’s Western-backed dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, fled Tunisia to Saudi Arabia, after weeks of bloody protests over corruption, unemployment, and high food prices.

Tunisia's first freely elected government was sworn in December 2011, a year after the start of a popular uprising that ended the 23-year authoritarian rule of Ben Ali.

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