Tunisia plans to build barrier wall on Libya border

Tunisia plans to build 160-kilometre barrier wall on Libya border in response to recent deadly attacks carried out in Sousse

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A 160-kilometre barrier wall to be built separating Tunisia from Libya is one of several new security measures announced by the Tunisian government to counter the threat posed by the recent wave of deadly attacks against foreign tourists which have shaken the country and threatened its tourism industry.

The barricade, which would cover about a third of the border with trenches and sand fortifications, is intended to "stop terrorist groups from infiltrating," Prime Minister Habib Essid said in local news organisations on Tuesday.

The armed militant responsible for the Sousse beach resort attack was proven to have been trained in Libya by ISIS wing in north Africa.

Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency in his country on July 4 after his country was shaken by the deadly attack on the Imperial Marhaba beach resort of Sousse on June 26, which killed 38 tourists.

Another deadly attack, which took place on March 18, killed 22 people in an assault after two gunmen stormed the Bardo National Museum, one of the country’s leading tourist attractions in the capital, Tunis.

The state of emergency temporarily gives the government, as well as the army and police, more flexibility and authority in monitoring citizen behavior which could limit any prospect of future attacks.

Since 2010, Tunisia witnessed an uprising that brought a change to its government and threw its former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali into exile in Riyadh, which sparked a domino effect form of uprisings within other Arab nations, including neighbouring north African country, Libya.

Former Libyan president, Muammar Qaddafi, was killed during his own people’s uprising following the Tunisian revolution.

The turmoil in Libya descended the country into a bloody civil war that crippled its security and stability leading to a massive outflow of migrants to Europe and into neighbouring countries, especially Tunisia.

The growing presence of ISIS has affected Tunisia negatively when the armed insurgency claimed responsibility for the two deadly attacks this year.

Current Tunisian president, Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi, warned Tunisians in a national television address on Saturday, that they were in “a state of war against terrorism” and that the instability in Libya and the porous desert border created a great threat for the Tunisian people.

"We have 500 kilometres of borders with Libya, most of them are desert and we need special technical equipment to control those borders that we do not have," he said.

"Unfortunately, Libya is not doing its role in fighting terrorism," he added. "There are many armed organisations within Libya that are like states within a state.”

“Libya's borders are long and they neighbour different countries and we don't have a common organised system to protect these borders."

TRTWorld and agencies