Trabelsi orders withdrawal of security and police from Ras Ajdir border crossing

Mar 21, 2024 | Libyan actors

On 21 March, Minister of Interior Emad Trabelsi ordered the withdrawal of all members of Zuwara’s General Directorate of Security Operations, the local police station, and the Passports Authority from the border crossing installations at Ras Ajdir. Trabelsi then announced that the Ras Ajdir border crossing will remain closed until the Government of National Unity (GNU) reobtains control. He underlined that ‘there is no flag for the Ras Ajdir border crossing except the flag of Libya. Whoever wants to be proud of the Amazigh flag should fly it in his house. That is their right, but not above the state border crossing, which would provoke the anger of others.’ Unsurprisingly, this speech prompted dozens more rainbow Amazigh flags to be hoisted at the crossing.

Then on 22 March, Trabelsi granted an extraordinary promotion to the members of the General Directorate of Security Operations who were previously deployed “to secure” the Ras Ajdir border crossing. This involves around 50 men. Later in the day, the director of the Law Enforcement Department of the General Directorate of Security Operations Abdul Hakim al-Khaitouni claimed that his men were attacked by “outlaw armed groups” at the border crossing and retreated based on instructions of MoI Trabelsi not to shoot at the outlaws and to adhere to the utmost level of restraint. In response, the Chair of the Supreme Council of the Amazigh in Libya, al-Hadi Barqiq, has declared that Trabelsi’s reckless behaviour has turned the GNU MoI into a “family and tribal ministry” par excellence, claiming that Trabelsi lacks the professionalism, integrity and sufficient knowledge required for the work of a minister.