By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 18 November 2014:
The delay at the Ras Jedir border crossing remains intolerably long for those trying to . . .[restrict]reach Tunisia from Libya, with waits of over 20 hours being the norm.
“It took me 22 hours to cross,” one traveller told the Libya Herald. “I arrived at the border at 8:50 am and finished the crossing at 6:35 am the next day!” He added, “My friend got out of the car, walked across the border, got on a bus and arrived in Tunis before I ever got across.”
Last month the long queues at the border were reportedly caused by the militiamen guarding Libya’s side of the border –members of the Libya Shield brigade – who were giving priority to their friends and those with the right “connections”, allowing them to pass through immediately, but allegedly threatening to shoot others who tried to do the same.
Now, Libya Dawn is blaming Tunisian border officials for the holdups. The Libya Dawn Information Office released a statement calling on Libya’s National Salvation Government to “quickly intervene with the Tunisian authorities and resolve the unjustified congestion”.
The statement did not say why it is placing the blame on the Tunisians. It did, however, accuse the French of placing pressure on Tunisia to support the Tobruk-based government and “crack down” on Omar Al-Hassi’s “National Salvation Government”.
According to the statement, the Tunisians are allowing themselves to be manipulated by France rather than honour the long history of good relations between the two countries.
Tunisia, it said, is now “harassing the Libyan people by land and by air”, referring to the ban on flights from Libya and to the problems at the border crossing.