Political corruption and high unemployment has caused public uproar across Tunisian over the last month. Riots have been increasingly reported, Tunis took centre stage this week.
Rioters were confronted by armed police, resulting in a number of fatalities and many more injured. The number of fatalities has not been confirmed due to the governments control over the media, it is believed to have surpassed 60.
The initial trigger for the riots was unemployment. In protest, on December 17th a university graduate publicly set himself on fire after he was prohibited from selling vegetables, his only means of earning a living, because he didn't have a licence. He died some weeks later from his injuries.
The public also objected to the heavy censorship on information, including the internet, set by the government and the corruption in the presidents family.
Unprecedented protests appeared in the following weeks throughout Tunisia before reaching the capital on Monday 10th January. Schools and Universities were closed indefinitely and a city curfew was also introduced to help the government maintain control.
Three live to air speeches were given by President Zein El Abidine Ben Ali where he admitted to failing the people and stated that he wouldn't be challenging the constitution to run for president again in 2014. However this did little to halt the protestors.
Thousands came together to strike in central Tunis today. The protesters called for his immediate resignation and a legal investigation into his families corruption.
At 5.45pm on the 14th January, President Zein El Abidine Ben Ali stepped down ending his 23 years in power.