Tunisia: Dispute Over Control of Ras Jedir Crossing Perpetuates Disruptions

by | Jun 2, 2024 | Diplomacy, Political, Security, Tunisia


On 30 May 2024, Tunisian President Kais Saied met with Abdelhamid Dbeiba, the Prime Minister of Libya’s Tripoli-based National Unity Government to discuss the terms of re-opening the Ras Jedir border crossing. 

Saied and Dbeiba agreed to urge rapid work by their respective interior ministries on developing the necessary security facilities on the Libyan side of the border 

The border crossing was re-opened in early May after a two-month closure due to violent disputes over control of the crossing on the Libyan side. However, shortly thereafter, the crossing was closed again after clashes were again reported on the Libyan side. 

The meeting between Saied and Dbeiba took place in Beijing where both leaders were attending the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum with leaders from across the Arab world. 


The challenges in keeping the Ras Jedir border crossing open are emanating from the Libyan side of the border, where disagreements over how the crossing will be managed and by whom who have continued for several months. 

With a significant amount of financial gain at stake due to the cross-border black market trade in various goods, multiple parties are highly interested in maintaining control. Influential tribal leaders in the region have remained determined to retain some level of control which was disrupted when the Tripoli-based government sent forces to take control of the crossing earlier this year. 

As the Tripoli-based government seeks to demonstrate to foreign benefactors that it is expanding its influence and control, additional conflicts with local tribes could emerge, particularly in areas of the country with a significant economic role. 


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