UN calls for restraint amid protests in North Africa

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is urging leaders in Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen to exercise restraint and prevent further violence.

Ban Ki-moon

Ban Ki-moon

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland, Mr Ban said leaders should see the on going public demonstrations as an opportunity to engage in addressing the legitimate concerns and wishes of their peoples.

The Secretary General said people’s freedom of expression and association should be respected.

“The leaders of any country have a broad responsibility, and at the same time mandate, to listen attentively to the wishes of a people. What are their challenges, their difficulties, that is their responsibility to care for their own people and country. Freedom of expression and association should be fully respected. In that regard, the specific question about shutting down all this internet service, I believe that one of the ground principles of democracy is to protect and ensure the freedom of speech of a people.”

Violent demonstrations have erupted in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen as people take to the streets to demand greater freedom, jobs and an end to corruption.

Filed under Today's News.
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