Tunisia’s former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says. Ben Ali led the country for 23 years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.
But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and corruption. In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. His ousting triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world that became known as the Arab Spring.
At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall.