Protests in Tunisia After Closing of Ras Jdair Border Crossing

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On Sunday, dozens of Tunisian residents in the city of Ben Gardane staged large-scale protests over the closure of the Ras Jedir border crossing with Libya.

The Tunisian protesters set tires on fire in a number of the city’s main streets, thus leading to the deployment of security units that fired tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters who deliberately pelted the security area with stones.

The protests come in light of the deterioration of the economic and social situation in the region, with the continued closure of the Ras Jedir border crossing. This closure has led to a halt of border trade activity, which constitutes the main source of income for most residents of Ben Gardane.

For more than 40 days, a number of traders in the Tunisian city have been staging a sit-in in the Al-Shousha area to demand the re-opening of the crossing, but the country’s concerned officials failed to respond to this peaceful action.

Notably, Tunisia’s labour union in Ben Gardane called on the government to expedite the re-opening of the crossing and to issue the health protocol that it has recently promised. The labour union blamed all concerned officials for the further escalation of tensions and the negative repercussions on the security and social situation.

The union also called on the Municipal Council and all components of civil society to exert more pressure on the government in order to find solutions to the social and economic situation. It voiced its support for all the peaceful movements from Ben Gardane and called for the achievement of their legitimate demands.