Friday, January 21, 2022

Former Tunisian President Ben Ali dies in exile

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.
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Tunisia’s ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile in Saudi Arabia. His family lawyer made the announcement on Thursday.

Reuters quoted his family lawyer, Mounir Ben Salha saying “Ben Ali just died in Saudi Arabia.”

He was outed in an uprising in 2011 forcing him to flee the country. Ben Ali has since lived abroad until his death.

As a former security chief, Ben Ali ruled Tunisia for 23 years.

He took power in 1987 while serving as as prime minister after declaring president-for-life Habib Bourguiba medically unfit to rule.

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Ben Ali gained prominence in the Tunisian army after Bourguiba won Tunisia’s independence from France in 1956.

The former leader was head of military security from 1964, and of national security from 1977.

A Tunisian court sentenced him in absentia in 2011 to 35 years in prison but he never appeared in public again.

This month’s presidential election was the second time Tunisia was holding a free presidential election since the toppling of Ben Ali.

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Former President Essebsi won Tunisia’s first free presidential elections in 2014.  He died at 92 this year – at the time the oldest sitting president in the world.




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