By Houda Mzioudet,
Tunis, 13 July 2016:
Tunisia has no intention of introducing age-based restrictions on Libyan entering the country. All Libyans can continue to enter Tunisia without any age restriction, Tunisian Ministry of Interior media spokesman Yasser Mosbah has told the Libya Herald.
During the week there were claims on social media as well some Libyan media outlets that the Tunisian authorities “would soon ban” Libyans under 35 years of age from entering via the Ras Jedir border crossing.
“Such news is groundless and has no foundation whatsoever. And there is no law banning Libyans from entering Tunisia”, Mosbah insisted.
However, the Ras Jedir border crossing’s Facebook page says that there are “routine” measures being carried out, “checking first newcomers to Tunisia for security reasons”. Scrutiny of some Libyans include “those whose names are blacklisted by Tunisian authorities or have a criminal record or possibly who is related to someone who is wanted by Tunisian authorities”. Apparently in case where names of travellers are the same as a wanted person, “they will be returned to Libya”, it was said.
Tunisia itself has for some time operated a ban on Tunisians going to Libya as well as Syria, Turkey and Algeria unless they have their parents’ consent. In the case of Libya, it has been further tightened with those over 35 are also restricted from going o unless they have a guarantor or a father working in Libya.
The ban on is to prevent them from joining groups such as the so-called Islamic State and Ansar Al-Sharia.
In an earlier version we wrongly reported that Libya was barring Tunisians under 35 from entering the country, if for the first time and if without a letter from a guarantor or without a parent working in the country. We apologise for the mistake.