January 24, 2011 / 4:37 PM / 8 years ago

Tunisia army vows to uphold revolt, warns of vacuum

TUNIS (Reuters) - The Tunisian army general who refused to back president Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali’s crackdown on protesters warned on Monday that a political vacuum could bring back dictatorship and vowed to protect the revolution.

“Our revolution is your revolution. The revolution of the youth could be lost and could be exploited by those who call for a vacuum,” General Rashid Ammar told crowds outside the prime minister’s office, where protesters have demanded the fall of the interim government. “The army will protect the revolution.”

Ammar’s decision to withdraw support from Ben Ali is widely regarded as a turning point that eventually forced him to leave the country on January 14 after weeks of popular protests.

Reporting by Tarek Amara; writing by Lin Noueihed; editing by Mark Heinrich

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