Tunisia gas field protesters reach deal

Members of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) hold flares and wave flags during a rally to mark International Workers' Day, or Labour Day, in Tunis, Tunisia May 1, 2017. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi - RTS14MQX

Protesters obstructing oil and gas fields in southern Tunisia have reached an agreement with the government to end a sit-in and allow production to restart immediately, the government and protesters said on Friday.

Protests over jobs in southern Tataouine and Kebili provinces hit oil and gas production in a region where French company Perenco and Austrian producer OMV operate. The deal calls for jobs in oil companies and development projects.

Labor Minister Imed Hammami told a press conference the agreement would allow production to restart immediately.

“It is an agreement that addresses all our demands for the region and we will end the sit-in,” Tarek Haddad, one of the protest leaders at the Kamour site told reporters.

The deal calls for 1,500 jobs in oil companies, a budget of 80 million dinars ($32.66 million) for a development fund and another 3,000 jobs in environmental projects.

Protesters were pressing demands for jobs and a share of the country’s energy wealth and forced the closure of two oil and gas pumping stations in Kamour in Tatatouine and in Kebili.

 

Zainab Sa’id