By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 16 December 2017:
Germany is giving €18 million towards installing an electronic surveillance system along Tunisia’s Libyan border in order to prevent extremists and migrants getting through.
The German defence ministry said it had also provided €16 million-worth of mobile observation equipment to Tunisia last year.
The project is being partly overseen by the US government’s Defence Threat Reduction Agency.
Tunisia has been reinforcing its 460-kilometre border with Libya for the past two years. In the first phase, completed nearly two years ago, it dug a 196-kilometre trench from Ras Jedir to Dahiba, and then concentrated on installing electronic surveillance equipment. Agreement to help on this was given by both Germany and the US back in 2015.
One of the key motivations in the German government’s decision was the announcement that the man behind the 2015 Sousse massacre received training in Libya.
Also, the attack by the so-called Islamic State on the town of Ben Guerdane in March 2016 was seen as an example of the ability of extremist groups to be able to move freely in lawless border regions.
There is also a concern among governments that terrorist’s returning from Syria and Iraq could try to carry out attacks in their home countries, such as Tunisia.