Tunisia’s Border Dilemma | Adel Al-Nouqti
Tunis, Asharq Al-Awsat—Like all border zones across the world, Tunisia’s borders have never been completely secured. But the nature of problems along Tunisia’s southern border with Libya and western border with Algeria have seen radical shifts in recent years, mainly due to the political developments that have taken place both in Tunisia and its neighboring states.
Tunisia itself witnessed massive political changes after the fall of former President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011 while turmoil also ripped through Libya in the aftermath of the ouster of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, also in 2011. In the western part of Tunisia, fierce clashes with armed militias positioned in the mountainous area along the border with Algeria have resulted in the deaths of more than 50 Tunisian military and security officers. As for its southern border with Libya, the flow of smuggled weapons has increased, bringing increased concerns over security.
Tunisia’s national economy has been a major casualty of its porous borders. Smuggling from Libya and Algeria costs Tunisia over one billion US dollars every year, a study prepared by the International Monetary Fund revealed.
FULL ARTICLE (Asharq Al-Awsat)
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