Sign at the border between Tunisia and Libya encourages respectful behaviourA sign on a gate between Libya and Tunisia reminds people crossing and working at the border to treat each other with dignity and respect. The sign was created in partnership with Conflict Management Committees from both the Libyan and the Tunisian side of the border, which were established with the support of DDG.
The gate at the border crossing is frequently used by traders, travellers and border security officials. Since the revolution sparked as part of the Arab Spring, the border is highly militarized, traders are criminalized, policies are unclear and lines move slowly, which heats the frustration for both the border officials and the people crossing even more. These frustrations have often resulted in conflicts and the community members in the border region are suffering from insecurity and frequent unrest. A security provider working at the gate said about the new signs; “these tips can make the work in the gate smoother. This initiative is a great example for increasing cross-border cooperation”.
Many social groups from both Libya and Tunisia contributed to the activity such as civil society activists, religious leaders, security providers, civil authorities and other gate users. The Conflict Management Committees, which initiated the sign, were established with the support of DDG under the project ‘Community-Based Border Management in Libya and Tunisia’. Their main objective is to monitor and analyze border conflict dynamics and to subsequently engage in violence prevention and response initiatives aimed at de-escalating conflicts.
The Committees in Tunisia, which were established mid-2017 and are based in Ben Guerdane and in Dehiba, previously arranged training to traders on effective communication and conducted a traffic sensitization campaign. The committees in Libya were established beginning 2018 and conducted a training on violence against women. The Tunisia and Libya committees started regular cross-border networking meetings and collaborate on joint responses to conflict incidents in the border, such as protests and border closures.
The signboard says:
1- For travelers:
- My respect for the security provider, in the gate, is proof of my civilization and it guarantees my safety
- Knowing the laws of the destination country make my travel easier
2- For traders:
- The commitment to the trade agreements between the two countries facilitate my trade and my smooth transit
- I ensure security through respect for the operational procedures of the crossing and security instructions
3- For Security providers:
- My work at the gate reflects the first image of my country