Why the Tunisian military ignored orders and sided with protesters | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Why the Tunisian military ignored orders and sided with protesters

Tunisian protesters in Sidi Bouzid on April 29 after a car crash killed 12 people, including seven female day laborers. The deaths triggered an outcry on social media, with users accusing farm owners of treating their low-paid, mainly female workforce "like cattle." (Moktar Mahouli/AFP/Getty Images) (Moktar Mahouli/AFP/Getty Images)

The question of why some militaries repress protesters while others side with them has taken on renewed interest. In recent weeks, militaries in Algeria and Sudan abandoned their dictators in the face of protests, while the United States has failed to get Venezuela’s to do the same. These events have led scholars to reflect on the factors that influence military defection and loyalty, such as the officers’ material interests, offers of immunity for past abuses and expectations of how other officers will respond.

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