News24

Tunisia-Libya border open again

2011-12-23 11:37

Ras Jdir - The Tunisian-Libyan border post of Ras Jdir reopened in both directions on Thursday after three weeks of being shut over security concerns, an AFP photographer said.

Tunisian customs officials had not reported for duty at the main Ras Jidr border post since November 30, following a string of incidents and infiltrations of armed Libyans.

Last week, Tunisia said it had reopened the crossing with Libya after Tripoli took steps to prevent the kind of incidents that led to the border's closure, but the Libyan side of the border remained closed.

On Thursday, people were travelling in both directions, the AFP photographer at the scene reported.

The Libyan side of the crossing, vital to the area's economy, had been controlled by former rebels who fought to topple Muammar Gaddafi but was not formally under the central government's authority.

Fawzi Abdelali, the interior minister in the interim administration that took over from the slain dictator, said on December 5 that his forces had reclaimed control of Ras Jidr and promised the Libyan side would reopen in the coming days.

"The security situation at the Ras Jidr border crossing is excellent ... The border post is now weapons-free," he was quoted as saying by Libyan news agency Wal.

Tunisia provided refuge to tens of thousands of Libyan civilians who fled the months of fighting that led to the collapse of Gaddafi's regime.