Tunisia: Soldier Killed as Tensions Over Closed Border Crossing Rise

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Diplomacy, Political, Security, Tunisia


On the morning of 26 June 2024, a military patrol near Remada in the southern governorate of Tataouine was fired upon by unidentified gunman, resulting in the death of a Tunisian soldier. 

In the afternoon of the same day, the Tunisian Ministry of Defense released a brief statement regarding the incident indicating that a soldier had been killed and that the Military Court of Sfax would open an investigation into the incident. 

The situation along Tunisia’s border with Libya has been tense since March 2024 when violence near Ras Jedir, the main land border crossing between the two countries, led to the closure of the crossing which has continued to the present. 

The closure of Ras Jedir forced all official land border crossing activity 250 kms to the south to the Dehiba-Wazen crossing. The Dehiba-Wazen crossing is approximately 50 kilometers southeast of Remada.  

In 2022, a Tunisian soldier was killed by smugglers during a firefight near the Borj el Khadra border outpost at the southernmost point of Tunisia where Tunisia, Libya, and Algeria intersect. 


The death of a Tunisian soldier along the southern border with Libya is likely a result of shifting smuggler routes and alliances amongst local power brokers as the ongoing closure of the Ras Jedir border crossing drives rapid evolution of the security environment in an already unstable region. 

As official cross-border traffic has shifted south to the Dehiba-Wazen crossing point, the illicit cross-border trade has likely shifted with it, causing a re-shaping of the black market as well as the security environment in the area.  

As the black market and the various power brokers benefiting from it are forced to adapt their logistics, security, and networks of influence, tensions are likely to flare as established informal and illicit systems are adapted. 

Similar events could continue as the Ras Jedir closure drags on, raising the likelihood of broader civil unrest and violence in the region. 



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