France says Ben Ali relatives should leave

16th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

France said Saturday relatives of the ousted Tunisian strongman Zine Abidine Ben Ali should not seek refuge here, after it was revealed that a group of them were holed up at Disneyland Paris.

A Disneyland official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the group had left the resort complex just east of Paris at around 2.00pm (1300 GMT) on Saturday, but it was not clear where they were headed.

The party included Ben Ali's daughter by his second wife Leila Trabelsi, 24-year-old Nesrine, and at least one of his grandsons, a French security source told AFP, also speaking on condition he not be named.

They checked into a VIP suite in the Castle Club section of the resort on Thursday, one day before Ben Ali was forced to flee his homeland by mounting street protests, and had booked through until Sunday.

"Ben Ali's family members on French soil have no reason to stay," French government spokesman Franois Baroin said. "This family has not expressed any desire to stay on French soil and it should leave."

Ben Ali escaped Tunisia on Friday as he and members of his family and inner circle fled a street uprising against his 23 years of authoritarian rule. He is himself now in Saudi Arabia after France refused to allow him entry.

© 2011 AFP

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