According to Al-Arabi al-Jadeed, the inhabitants of Gafsa province in Tunisia booed the French ambassador, Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, who had travelled to visit a phosphate mine and learn about the process of phosphate extraction. To such an extent that he had to leave the region in a hurry and under the highest police protection.
The inhabitants of the province considered that this visit was an insult to the dignity of Tunisians and the sovereignty of Tunisia. Also, his short visit was accompanied by slogans and songs sung against him.
According to the report, dozens of demonstrators sang “The ambassador must go! “while the latter was in the city hall, following which the ambassador left the building with the utmost caution and increased security measures.
Once Poivre d’Arvor left, Tunisian security forces reportedly attacked the demonstrators with violent blows.
“This trip by the French ambassador to visit the phosphate mines is the height of the insult to Tunisian sovereignty, because this visit assumes that Tunisia lacks independence and that it is not in control of its own resources,” said Ammar Amrossiya, one of the leaders of the Workers’ Party in Gafsa province.