Mohamed Bouazizi, the unemployed 26-year-old Tunisian whose self-immolation sparked the riots in that country and ultimately toppled the president, has apparently inspired a series of copycat across North Africa, according to media reports.
Demonstrators in Egypt, Algeria and Mauritania, have set themselves on fire, in a likely imitation of Bouazizi’s act to protest similar economic conditions in those nations.
In Cairo, Egypt, Abdo Abelmonem Gafr, a baker, set himself on fire outside the parliament building, stated an official of the Interior Ministry. Gafr survived his stunt and is not badly hurt, ministry spokesman Alla Mahmood noted.
In Algeria, security officers stated that three people alighted themselves in protest. As in Tunisia, a deteriorating economy, rising food prices and an unresponsive government have prompted similar riots and protests.
A report out of Mauritania, a desert nation in West Africa, indicated that a man named Yacoub Dahoud set himself on fire outside the presidential palace.
Dahoud reportedly posted a message Facebook hailing Bouazizi and stating, We will never forget you.
He also created a Facebook group called Stop the corruption and tyranny in Mauritania.
Isn't it the time for the Mauritanian people to choose their freedom? Dahoud wrote on the page.