Major Border Crossing Closed Amid Armed Clashes Between Tunisia and Libya


Tunis, Tunisia – The Tunisian government, in coordination with Libyan authorities, has announced the closure of the Ras Jdir border crossing, a pivotal link between Tunisia and Libya, following a series of armed confrontations. This development was confirmed by Tunisian state television and an official statement from Libya’s interior ministry on Tuesday.

Ras Jdir, known for its significant flow of human and commercial traffic, has been a lifeline for many Libyans seeking medical treatment in Tunisia and a key conduit for the exchange of goods. However, the border has become the latest flashpoint in the ongoing instability that has plagued Libya since the 2011 uprising which led to the ousting of long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Since then, the country has been embroiled in a relentless power struggle, divided between eastern and western factions, each governed by rival administrations.

According to Libya’s interior ministry, the attack on the border was orchestrated by “outlaws”, prompting a swift response from the Tripoli-based government. “This action carried out by these outlaw groups will not be tolerated,” the ministry stated, pledging to impose “legal measures and the most severe penalties” on those involved. The specifics of these measures, however, remain unclear at this time.

The situation escalated over the weekend with the emergence of unverified social media footage showing a vehicle ablaze and people in a state of panic, fleeing amidst the sound of gunfire. In response, the ministry disclosed that security forces had already been deployed along the border in an attempt to curb smuggling activities and restore order.

On the Tunisian side, the closure of the Ras Jdir crossing was announced late on Monday by Tataouine Radio, citing the safety and security of Tunisian citizens traveling to Libya as the primary concern. This decision underscores the growing anxieties over the potential spillover of violence and instability from Libya into neighboring countries.

The recent events at Ras Jdir serve as a grim reminder of the fragile security situation in North Africa, particularly in Libya, where a decade of conflict has hindered the country’s progress towards peace and reconciliation. The international community, along with regional stakeholders, continues to watch the situation closely, hopeful for a resolution that can pave the way for stability and peace in the region.


Source link