AU concerned with situation in Tunisia

12:58, January 16, 2011      

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The African Union (AU) said on Saturday that it is concerned with the situation in Tunisia after the departure of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

In a statement released to media, AU said that it strongly condemned the excessive use of force against the demonstrators, resulting in loss of life, and stressed the need to spare no efforts to avoid any further loss of life.

AU expressed its solidarity with the people of Tunisia, and conveyed its condolences to the families of the victims and wished early recovery to the injured.

It also urgently appealed to the Tunisians for calm and an end to all acts of violence and destruction of property, the statement said.

AU also appealed to the political stakeholders and the Tunisian people to work together, in unity, consensus and respect for legality, towards a peaceful and democratic transition, which will allow the Tunisian people to freely choose their leaders through free, open, democratic and transparent elections.

Clashes between people protesting against rising food costs and rampant unemployment and the police in Tunisia have killed dozens of people.

Earlier on Friday, Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali left the country.

The nation-wide protest was triggered by the suicide of Mohammed Bouazizi in the southern city of Sidi Bouzid, a street vendor who set himself on fire after his fruit cart without a licence was confiscated by the police.

Source: Xinhua
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