A high-level delegation from the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) arrived in Tunisia on Tuesday. They are due to hold talks on the re-opening of the Ras Al-Jedir border crossing between Tunisia and Libya.
In press statements, the head of the Supreme Council of Libyan-Tunisian Businessmen (SCLTB), Abdel-Hafid Al-Sakroufi, said that the delegation is headed by the undersecretaries of the GNA’s foreign and health ministries. They are scheduled to meet their Tunisian counterparts to discuss mechanisms to reopen Ras Al-Jedir, as well as develop a joint health protocol in order to address the outbreak of COVID-19.
The issue is mainly linked to the refusal of the Libyans to be placed in a compulsory quarantine upon their arrival in Tunisia. On Sunday, dozens of Tunisian residents in the city of Ben Gardane staged large-scale protests over the closure of the Ras Al-Jedir border crossing with Libya. The Tunisian protesters set tires on fire in a number of the city’s main streets. This led to the deployment of security units that fired tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters, who deliberately pelted the security forces with stones.
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.