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Over the past several years, North African countries have worked to heavily fortify their borders. A 200-kilometer trench, completed in February 2016, runs along the Tunisian-Libyan border. Twelve hundred kilometers to the west, two new walls mark the border between Morocco and Algeria. Since the 2011 uprisings, governments in North Africa have begun to primarily view their borders as a security challenge.However, rather than making the region safer, securitizing borders has raised the risk of instability along the region's frontiers, where communities depend on smuggling and cheap smuggled goods.Buzzing cross-border economies developed and began to shape the region's frontiers.Algeria deployed at least 80,000 military personnel to buttress border security, an approach also employed in Tunisia, which established closed military zones along the border with Libya in 2013, and has since expanded these zones to encompass other border areas.These new systems of border management have put frontier communities under significant economic stress.Similar incidents occurred on the Morocco-Algeria border, including in November 2017, when protests broke out in the Moroccan border town of Bni Drar after a smuggler was killed by a border guard.
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