Tunisians close border road to protest Libyan crackdown on fuel smuggling

A group of Tunisian nationals from Ben Gardane town has shut down a main road between Libya and Tunisia on Wednesday, delaying cars that were on the road and preventing Libyan families from traveling back to their country through Ras Ajdir border crossing.

The act aimed to exert pressure on Libya’s Fuel and Gas Crisis Committee (FGCC) to reopen fuel smuggling routes that were used by Ben Gardane locals.

The FGCC demanded in a statement on its Facebook page on Thursday official authorities to intervene in what it described “the scandal” and take effective measures against the gangsters who perform such acts.

“If authorities fail to untie families caught up in this predicament, we will bring them back within hours,” it clarified.

Mediation efforts, exerted by Ben Gardane elders, succeeded in reopening the road on Thursday. The FGCC warned against repeated closure of the road and assaults against Libyan families travelling on the road.

The FGCC reiterated it will continue its operation to track down those involved in fuel smuggling and other types of illicit trafficking, which exhausted the country’s resources.

Meanwhile, officials from the Tunisian border town of Ben Gardane are establishing a direct contact with the FGCC, urging it to be wise and to take rational acts.

A whiff of hope sweeps the region while people from both sides are seeking ways to resolve the problem responsibly.

The Fuel and Gas Crisis has launched a crackdown on gangs smuggling fuel and other miscellaneous goods and items out of Libya after both Libyan and Tunisian official bodies’ disinterest to tackle the problem, which puts the national loss at an estimate of around LYD 25 million per month.

Libya Observer

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