Sidi Bouzid

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This article is about the city in Tunisia. For the commune in Algeria, see Sidi Bouzid, Algeria. For the town in Tunis Governorate, see Sidi Bou Said.
Sidi Bouzid
سيدي بوزيد
Sidi Bouzid is located in Tunisia
Sidi Bouzid
Sidi Bouzid
Location in Tunisia
Coordinates: 35°02′N 9°30′E / 35.033°N 9.500°E / 35.033; 9.500
Country Flag of Tunisia.svg Tunisia
Governorate Sidi Bouzid
Population (2004)
 • Total 39,915
Time zone CET (UTC1)

Sidi Bouzid (Tunisian Arabic: سيدي بوزيد‎  Sīdi Bu Zīd , pronounced [ˈsiːdi buˈziːd]), sometimes called Sidi Bou Zid or Sīdī Bū Zayd,[1][2] is a city in Tunisia and is the capital of Sidi Bouzid Governorate in the centre of the country. Following the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Sidi Bouzid, it was the site of the first clashes of the Tunisian Revolution and a catalyst for other protests in the region, often known as the Arab Spring.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Sign marking the entrance to Sidi Bouzid, 1980

It was the site of a battle which took place in February 1943, part of the Tunisia Campaign of World War II. This battle began on 14 February 1943 at nearby Faid Pass when the German 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions attacked elements of the US 1st Armored Division and 168th Infantry. This Battle of Sidi Bou Zid was the opening act in what became known as the Battle of the Kasserine Pass.

Role in the Tunisian revolution[edit]

Main article: Tunisian revolution

On 17 December 2010, clashes occurred in Sidi Bouzid between residents and the police following the public self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi.[3] Bouazizi worked as one of the city's street vendors selling fruit. He set fire to himself on 17 December as protest against the authorities' seizure of his goods, after an alleged refusal to pay a bribe to officials, and the police harassment and violence he suffered as a result. He died of his injuries on 4 January 2011.

In early January 2011, more clashes with the police in Sidi Bouzid led to at least 20 deaths.[4] Protesters in Sidi Bouzid began taking pictures, but most importantly video clips, of these events and the violence meted out to them (including firing live rounds) using 'smart phones' and other mobile devices. They were then posted extensively on the web using social media sites. As a direct result, violent protests soon spread through the country, eventually reaching the capital of Tunis. As the uprising intensified, President Ben Ali fled the country on 14 January 2011.

The success of protesters from Sidi Bouzid in publicising their efforts and plight via social media has been seen as the most distinctive and decisive feature in facilitating the following uprisings across North Africa and other Arab nations.[5]

'Secession' from Tunisia[edit]

In late July, 2013, officials declared that their city had seceded from Tunisia and would not return to control of the central government unless Islamist government led by Ennahdha party was removed from power.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sidi Bou Zid: Tunisia, name, administrative division, geographic coordinates and map". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  2. ^ "Sīdī Bū Zayd: Tunisia, name, administrative division, geographic coordinates and map". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Adams. "Tunisian protests escalate, reflecting widespread discontent." Christian Science Monitor. 10 January 2011. Accessed 10 January 2011. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/terrorism-security/2011/0110/Tunisian-protests-escalate-reflecting-widespread-discontent
  4. ^ "Tunisia death toll rising after weeks of protests over jobs" France24. 11 January 2011. Accessed 12 January 2011 http://www.france24.com/en/20110111-death-toll-rises-weeks-unrest-unemployment-jobs-rising-prices-gassrine-tunisia
  5. ^ Beaumont, Peter (25 February 2011). "The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprisings in the Arab world". The Guardian (London). 
  6. ^ "Former ministerial official claims town of Sidi Bouzid is out of control". The Tunis Times (Tunis). 27 July 2013. 

Coordinates: 35°02′N 9°30′E / 35.033°N 9.500°E / 35.033; 9.500