Ben Guerdane: Protests Against the Death of a Merchant by the National Guard

By Nordin Gantri, translated into English by de l’arabe par Vanessa Szakal.

On April 16, Ben Guerdane was the scene of demonstrations following the murder of Mokhtar Zaghdoud by an agent of the National Guard in the isolated zone between the Tunisian-Libyan borders. Protestors expressed their anger in response to a number of similar incidents; since December 2012, twenty-five inhabitants from the region have been killed in such circumstances. Two of these deaths occurred in April.

Slogans chanted during the march revealed the exasperation of those living in Ben Guerdane, who iterated that this isolated area was created to fight against terrorism and the trafficking of arms, not to kill those living in the region nor prevent them from earning a living through their businesses. Demonstrators also insisted upon the fact that their dependency on trade between Tunisia and Libya is a consequence of the absence of development projects in the region. They described themselves as “victims of their geographic position” which does not help to appease tensions in a dangerous border zone.



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