Residents staged a protest outside a military barracks in the Tataouine governorate town of Remada on the evening of Wednesday, July 8, following the killing of a truck driver by security forces near the border with Libya. The local youth died when security forces opened fire on his vehicle after it failed to stop when challenged by a patrol in the military buffer zone along the border. It is currently unclear whether any smuggled material was found in the vehicle. Although security forces initially attempted to prevent demonstrators from reaching the barracks, Wednesday's protest is believed to have passed peacefully with limited confrontation.
Further protests over the issue are likely in the Remada area in the near term.
Although not directly connected, Wednesday's protest comes amid increased tensions and unrest in the Tataouine governorate. Demonstrations have been taking place in the region since late May over an unfulfilled government promise to implement the 2017 El Kamour Agreement by creating 1,500 jobs in the energy industry. On June 30, the government approved the creation of 500 jobs in the sector. However, protest groups have demanded that the government fully honor the original quota and allocate 80 million dinars (32 million USD) in development funding for the governorate. Protests have escalated in recent weeks following the arrest of Tariq Haddad, the spokesman for the movement, on June 20. The General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) has called for a strike by oil sector workers between Sunday, July 12, through Tuesday, July 14.
Those in Tataouine governorate are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate localized travel disruption during strikes and protests, and avoid all demonstrations and political gatherings.
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