Beji Caid Essebsi: Tunisia buries its president in the presence of Macron

Tunisia is preparing this Saturday to pay a national tribute to its first democratically elected president by universal suffrage, Beji Caid Essebsi , which must be buried in the presence of several heads of state and a crowd of Tunisians .

The body of the deceased president Thursday at the age of 92 years joined Friday the presidential palace of Carthage he occupied since 2014, in the presence of hundreds of Tunisians came to collect his release from the military hospital.

An official ceremony is scheduled at noon (French time) in the presence of Emmanuel Macron, the head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, the Algerian President Acting Abdelkader Bensalah or Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit.

Benoît Delmas@westernculturel

Funeral of the President of the Republic. The Emir of Qatar, Emmanuel Macron, the president of the Arab League, among others, will attend the funeral. The body will leave the Carthage Palace at 11h for the Jellaz Cemetery. Tunis is bunkerized for the occasion.

The funeral procession left the palace of Carthage to the cemetery of Djellaz, about 25 km away, where he will be buried alongside members of his family. Many Tunisians are expected in this vast cemetery in the middle of Tunis to bid their last adieu to their president, who died the day Tunisia celebrated the proclamation of the Republic in 1957.

Important security feature

The Interior Ministry said it has deployed a major security device, while respecting "spontaneous gatherings of citizens". "President Béji Caïd Essebsi belongs to the Tunisian people and every Tunisian has the right to attend his funeral," wrote his son Hafedh, on Facebook. Some Tunisians were paying spontaneous homage Friday to the president, laying flowers near the palace.

On Friday, newspapers were printed in black and white, many news websites were grieving logos, and national television continued to broadcast Qur'anic verses between news papers. Tunisia has declared seven days of mourning in honor of its president, and football matches and cultural events have been canceled.

Since the announcement of the death, international tributes have flocked to salute the crucial role of the president in the "march towards democracy" in the cradle of the Arab Spring. Neighboring countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Jordan or Mauritania have declared three days of mourning.

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