Tunisia will establish a consular crisis cell on its Libyan border to help repatriate and offer assistance to Tunisians in Libya, or attempting to leave Libya as the security situation in Libya deteriorates and ahead of an international intervention.
At a hearing before the Assembly of the Representatives of the People’s (ARP) Commission on the Affairs of Tunisians Living Abroad, on Monday February 29, Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui announced that a consular crisis cell would soon be established at the Ras Jedir border crossing with Libya.
The consular cell would provide assistance and services to the Tunisian community in Libya if an international intervention occurs in Libya.
In comments broadcast by ShemsFm on Sunday, Human Rights advocate and Libyan affairs specialist Mustapha Abdelkebir advised Tunisians against travelling into Libya. Abdelkebir cited a growing security crisis, numerous militia run road blocks between Tripoli and Ras Jedir and arbitrary arrests at Mitigua airport.
Between Tripoli and the Tunisian border the city of Sabratha has recently seen fighting between forces of its municipal government and militants believed to be associated with Islamic State.
On Februarys 19, a U.S. airstrike in the outskirts of Sabratha, targeted Noureddine Chouchane a militant suspected of involvement in the March 18, 2015 Bardo National Museum attack in Tunis.
The airstrike killed over fifty suspected militants, the vast majority of whom are believed to be Tunisian militants.
When the mayor of Sabratha Houcine Daoudi was detained in Tunis last year by security officials, militias in and around Sabratha rounded up Tunisian workers in the city demanding Daoudi’s release, who was then allowed to return to Libya in exchange for the hostages.