7000 Tunisians Repatriated from Libya


More than 7,000 Tunisians were repatriated from Libya during the last week via the Ras Jedir border crossing, said the governor of Medenine, Habib Shawat.

In a statement, Shawat added that the Tunisians returning have been subject to a mandatory quarantine, and will be allowed to leave only after they test negative for COVID-19.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, thousands of Tunisians have been repatriated from Libya via the Ras Jedir, and Dehiba-Wazen border crossings. Tunisians have also been repatriated by air, from Benghazi and Misrata, as war-torn Libya is home to thousands of Tunisian migrant workers. The two neighbouring countries closed their borders in mid-March, in a bid to stop the virus from spreading.

This left many Tunisians unable to return home, as well as without a source of income, during the lockdown. With the security situation in Libya deteriorating, authorities in Tunisia are expecting more returnees in the coming months. “They have lived in a very difficult situation, and have been alone for a long time”, said Mustafa Abdel-Kabir, head of Tunisia’s Human Rights Observatory.