Libya & Tunisia Discuss Enhancing Border Security


On Thursday, Libya’s Minister of Interior, Emad Al-Trabelsi held a meeting with Tunisia’s Ambassador to Libya, Al-Asaad Al-Ajili. This was to discuss issues that have arisen along the Libyan-Tunisian border.

In a statement, the meeting’s agenda included “proposing solutions and remedial measures that would secure the mutual interests of both countries.”

Additionally, they also dealt with a number of “security-related topics and issues, that hold importance for both Libya and Tunisia. Especially in relation to the matter of undocumented migrants.”

The conversation signals a concerted effort between Libya and Tunisia to bolster security, effectively manage migration, and reinforce their diplomatic ties. This step stands to benefit both countries, and the wider region as a whole.

Libya and Tunisia share a long-standing, complex relationship that has been significantly influenced by the political turmoil, and social upheaval in the region. The border between the two countries stretches approximately 459 kilometers (roughly 285 miles), encompassing diverse terrains from the Mediterranean coastline to the Sahara desert. Given the shared history and geographical proximity, issues that occur in one country, often have direct implications for the other.

In recent years, the instability in Libya following the 2011 revolution and the subsequent civil war has generated numerous security and humanitarian concerns. The two main areas of concern are illegal migration and cross-border security.

Illegal migration remains a pressing issue. Libya has been a primary transit point for migrants from around the world, seeking to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. The unstable political situation, coupled with the presence of smuggling networks, has led to a surge in undocumented migrants. This has also affected Tunisia, which has seen an increase in the number of migrants arriving, either intending to stay, or to use the country as a stepping stone to Europe.

Cross-border security is another challenge. Armed groups and criminal networks operating within Libya’s largely ungoverned spaces, have at times threatened Tunisia’s security. This concern has led to increased cooperation between the two nations to monitor and control their shared border.