Tripoli, 4 May:
Demonstrators in the Tunisian border town of Dehiba have called on the Tunisian authorities not to open a third . . .[restrict]border crossing to Libya. They said that the Dehiba-Wazin crossing in the foothills of the Nafusa mountains needed to be upgraded. They also called fro more jobs for the region’s unemployed.
In February, residents on both sides of the Libyan-Tunisian border, from Tataouine and Zintan, as well as Tunisian officials called for a third crossing to be opened at Mashhad Salih. They said that the main Ras Jedir could not cope with the growing traffic and that the Dehiba-Wazin crossing was too remote.
People in Dehiba are said to be afraid of the economic impact another crossing would have on the town and area.
The Tunisian authorities have said that they are not opposed to a third crossing if approved by the Libyan authorities.
The possible third crossing, 80 kilometres from Tataouine and some 40 kilometres from Nalut, would involve building 20 kilometres of new road from the Tunisian border to link in with the existing Libyan road network.
In February, there were demonstrations on both sides of the border in favour of it.
“With this new crossing, which will connect our cities with Tunisian cities, we will shorten [the distance] and it will be a new window for . . development after years of marginalisation,” Mohamed Ben Abdel Adhim from the Nafusa Mountains was quoted as saying at the time.
“Many will also benefit from this crossing due to its saving time, effort and suffering of travel,” he added. [/restrict]