By Wiem Melki | Dec 19 2011Libyan government , Ras Jdir borders , Tunisian authorities , Tunisian Customs service
In spite ofÂ a previous announcement, the Ras Jadir border crossing between Tunisia and Libya did not reopen today. Libyan authorities areÂ implementing new proceduresÂ at the border crossing, and the Tunisian customs service continues toÂ face unresolved problems.
The Libyan government hasÂ announced that newÂ equipmentÂ will be providedÂ throughout the week. Computers and scanners will be installedÂ in order to regulate the process of crossingÂ between TunisiaÂ and Libya. New laws will also be implemented.
Ahmed Sadam, a driver in the Ras Jadir region, expressed his satisfaction with the news stating, “We need these reforms to facilitate our jobs and make passing through the border faster. Before we used to wait for hours before crossing.” He also described the border area as relatively “empty” since the crossing was shut down. Consequently, his job was recently suspendedÂ due toÂ theÂ dependence of his positionÂ on an open border.
Two days ago,Â a violent incident occurred at the border crossing involving aÂ group of Tunisian smugglers who setÂ an office at the customer service center on fire.
According to Sadam,Â a group ofÂ car-smugglers wanted to payÂ a customs employee a bribe to receive approval for their illegal cars to cross the border. Â The customs employee got very upset and left his officeÂ with the approval stamp -Â whichÂ allows buyers to bring cars over the border.Â TheÂ angry Tunisian smugglers immediately set his office on fire and chaosÂ erupted in the area. An ongoing investigation is being conducted toÂ determine theÂ identity of theÂ individuals responsible forÂ setting the office on fire.
According to TAP, TunisianÂ officialsÂ asserted that the reopening of the borders will not happen this Thursday as Â expected.