By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 14 December 2015:
Tunisian police used tear gas today to disperse some 300 demonstrators who tried to storm the . . .[restrict]Ras Jedir border in protest at new Libyan customs charges. The protestors are said to have come from Ben Guerdane which has been suffering from repeated border closures and a clamp down on smuggling.
The Libyan authorities are reported to be imposing at LD1,000 tax on vehicles seeking to enter from Tunisia. This charge has to be paid in hard currency. Locals have been demanding that Tunisia impose a similar tax on Libyan vehicles crossing in to Tunisia.
It is unclear if the Libyan demand, imposed since the border was reopened after Tunisia closed it for 15 days on security grounds, has been authorised in Tripoli or if the border guards are demanding it on their own account.
The disruption will further impede the flow of vehicles between the two countries which has until recently been the only cost-effective way of travelling between Tunis and Tripoli. [/restrict]