Bassin minier 4

Gafsa uprising & transitional justice: trials must not stop at being symbolic

Wednesday 26 September was a momentous day at the court of First Instance of Gafsa. Emotions ran high as the activists and leaders of the uprising of the Gafsa Mining Basin of 2008 walked into the same court room in which they were beaten up, unfairly tried and sentenced less than 10 years ago. Only this time, they walked in through the main door as victims waiting to see the perpetrators prosecuted- not defendants accused of plotting against the state. Their only crime in 2008? Daring to peacefully protest what they considered to be unfair employment practices, nepotism and lack of transparency by the state-owned Phosphate Company of Gafsa, the region’s main – if not sole – employer.

Mdhila: Phosphate industry drinks while the town thirsts for water

For over a month, the water supply in several delegations of Tunisia’s Mine Basin has been disrupted by intermittent cuts. The situation has suscitated protests in the towns of Borj El Akarema and Segui in Mdhila, where life has become insufferable for residents. While some accuse SONEDE for not assuming its responsibilities in the maintenance and management of water pipes, ostensibly weathered and rusty, others point a finger at the phosphate industry which exhausts water reserves and pollutes the rest. Nawaat left for Mdhila to meet with residents and farmers to learn more about the water issue.