State of emergency extended in Tunisia by 6 months

State of emergency extended in Tunisia by 6 months
Tunisian President Kais Saied announced an extension to the state of emergency in the country by six months starting from Saturday. (File/AFP)
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Updated 30 May 2020

State of emergency extended in Tunisia by 6 months

State of emergency extended in Tunisia by 6 months
  • A state of emergency has been in effect in Tunisia since a suicide attack on a police bus in November 2015
  • Successive governments since the uprising of 2011 have failed to resolve stubbornly high inflation and unemployment

LONDON: Tunisian President Kais Saied announced an extension to the state of emergency in the country by six months starting from Saturday. 
A state of emergency has been in effect in Tunisia since a suicide attack on a police bus in November 2015. It has been extended a number of times.
On Thursday, hundreds of Tunisians protested in at least seven cities to demand jobs, which has heaped pressure on a government facing the worse economic crisis in more than 60 years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even before the outbreak hammered Tunisia’s tourism sector, which accounts for nearly 10% of gross domestic product, successive governments since the uprising of 2011 have failed to resolve stubbornly high inflation and unemployment that has bred discontent, especially among young people.


Egypt, UAE resume first Qatar flights since 2017

Egypt, UAE resume first Qatar flights since 2017
Updated 10 min 11 sec ago

Egypt, UAE resume first Qatar flights since 2017

Egypt, UAE resume first Qatar flights since 2017
  • An EgyptAir flight took off from Doha to Cairo, making it the first commercial flight in three and a half years between both countries
  • It was followed shortly after by the arrival of an Air Arabia flight from Sharjah in the UAE

DOHA: The first direct flights since 2017 between Qatar and its former rivals Egypt and the UAE took to the skies on Monday, following the end of a regional crisis.
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in cutting ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of being too close to Iran and of backing Islamic extremists, charges Doha denies.
The quartet agreed to heal the rift at a Gulf summit on January 5 in Saudi Arabia, after a flurry of diplomatic activity by outgoing US President Donald Trump’s administration.
The first commercial flight from Qatar to Egypt in three and a half years, an EgyptAir service to Cairo, took off from windswept Doha airport.
It was followed shortly after by the arrival of an Air Arabia flight from Sharjah in the UAE.
The resumption of flights from Doha to Cairo will simplify travel for the large contingent of Egyptians living in Qatar.
As many as 300,000 Egyptians call Qatar home, according to official statistics, but many were unable to travel home during the crisis.
In May 2020, frustrated Egyptians protested outside the compound housing Egypt’s then-empty embassy.
Following the demonstration, 18 repatriation flights operated via neutral Oman to comply with Cairo’s ban on direct air traffic.
A Qatar Airways plane was due to also make the trip to Cairo later Monday.
Flights between Doha and Saudi Arabia, which has also opened its land border to Qatar, resumed on January 11.
The row complicated regional travel, divided families and raised costs faced by Qatari businesses.
Mustafa Ahmed, 38, an Egyptian technical engineer, said he was “very happy.”
“With direct flights, life will be easier, especially for families and children, avoiding the torment of changing airports and planes and waiting for hours for transit flights,” he told AFP.
Egyptians in Qatar work in a number of sectors including education, health care and engineering.
Thousands of Qatar’s majority-expatriate workforce, however, have lost their jobs as a result of a downturn caused by the coronavirus epidemic.