Hamid, 28, an unemployed member of a family of six disabled people, is seen with his father in front of their house in Remada, October 12, 2018. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi
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Tunisian Zubair Abdel-Moula lost his work selling smuggled fuel on the streets of a poor southern town after the government tightened controls with Libya to stop militants crossing the 460 kilometer border.Tunisia started digging trenches and setting up monitoring systems provided by Western allies on the Libyan border in 2015 . Due to subsidies, the pump price of petrol in Libya is ten times cheaper than in Tunisia.In the southern province of Tataouine, which includes Remada and much of the Libyan border, unemployment is 32 percent.Many Tunisians used to cross the border to work in Libya but now feel the country is too dangerous.Tunisia tolerated the smuggling for decades as a way to help the south which missed out on industries concentrated mostly in the north and eastern coast.It estimates the smuggling cost the economy at least $750 million each year.The smuggling has also caused fuel shortages in some Libyan towns, officials say.ESCALATIONTunisian officials say that it will be impossible to stop completely smuggling activities.
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