Protests resumed yesterday in the town of Ben Guerdane with locals demanding that Ras Jedir border crossing reopen after two weeks of closure. The livelihoods of many local residents depend on the free flow of commerce through the Ras Jedir border point with Libya, said a source in Tunisian customs at Ben Guerdane.
According to the same source, many traders and citizens gathered today hurling stones at the headquarters of the National Guard in Ben Guerdane.
During the course of yesterday’s protest, the police fired teargas to disperse some 300 demonstrators, who blocked roads and set fire to tires, reported state news agency TAP.
Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali arrived this morning in Tripoli, leading a high-level delegation for a one-day-official visit to Libya, reported TAP.
During the visit, Jebali is expected to hold talks with Libyan officials on issues of mutual interest, including the closure of the Ras Jedir border crossing.
This visit is part of “the will of Tunisia’s government to boost the relations of fruitful co-operation between the two countries and settle such urgent issues as the closing of the Ras Jedir border crossing and the interruption of trade exchanges between Tunisia and Libya, which resulted from this closing,” stated a communiqué from the prime minister’s office.
The visit is expected to be crowned with the conclusion of a series of agreements aiming to revive activities at the border crossing post and allow for a free flow of exchanges.
The town of Ben Guerdane lies southeast of the governorate of Medenine near the Libyan border.