By Houda Mzioudet.
Tunis, 29 April 2016:
The Ras Jedir continues to be partially shut today after Libyan authorities refused to allow Tunisian . . .[restrict]traders from the border town of Ben Guerdane to use it.
As a result long queues have built up. It has also had a knock-on effect at the southern Dhehiba-Wazen border crossing which is also said now to e packed with Libyans who decided to to take longer route to drive to Tunisia.
The was Jedir decision was made, according to Muammar Hafed, the official spokesman of the Libyan side of Ras Jedir border crossing, in protest at what he said was the “the continued harassment” of Libyans entering Tunisia. The Tunisians, he claimed, were blocking Libyan vehicles using the road between Ras Jedir and Ben Guerdane.
Speaking to the Tunisian news agency TAP, he added that the crossing would remain partially closed until officials in both countries’ interior ministries found a solution to the problem. He said there was also a ban on the entry of Libyan products into Tunisia and it too would continue.
He stressed that the Libyan border officials had not been responsible for the decisions. It had come the trade ministry in Tripoli.
Earlier this week, Ben Guerdane traders staged a sit-in in the El Ketef area of Ben Guerdane in protest at the Libyan authorities banning them from importing products bought in Libya for resale in Tunisia, taking advantage of the drop in the value of the Libyan dinar against the Tunisian dinar.
Tensions have been growing over the last couple of months in the Ben Guerdane area because of the suspension of commercial activities with Libya.
The Tunisian traders called upon the authorities in Tunis to find urgent solutions to such problems pending development of the area, according to TAP. [/restrict]