On Feb. 7, the Tunisian Defense Ministry ordered the mobilization of
reserve soldiers as well as non-commissioned officers. In a statement, the
ministry said the officers and reservists must register at recruitment
centers starting from Feb. 16.
Officials said the post-Bin Ali government has been alarmed by the
renewal of violent protests, which began around Feb. 5. They cited calls by
protesters for a replacement of most of the ministers in the new government,
identified as holdovers from the Bin Ali regime. The opposition has also
demanded the dissolution of parliament.
The Interior Ministry has warned of a renewal of street protests. A
ministry statement on Feb. 7 ordered police and other forces to be on alert
for any action that could threaten domestic security.
"All members of the internal security forces must return to work
immediately and remain at their respective stations until further notice,"
the Interior Ministry said.
The renewal of protests has also targeted appointments by the new
government. Demonstrators expressed opposition to the appointment of 24
governors, 19 of whom were said to have been aligned with the former regime.
In southern Tunisia, several of the new governors have been threatened
by anti-government mobs. Officials said the army has been recruited to
the nominees, particularly in the province of Sidi Bouzid, where four
residents were killed in police fire.