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From Tunis, "we take the pulse of Tripoli-la-fevereuse"

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Yasmine Gateau

It's always the same feeling scrambled. This pleasure worried. This worrying joy. Privilege to leave for post-Gadhafi Libya plunged into tumult, regional geopolitical absconding and endearing people. And yet, when closing the suitcase, the apprehension rises. We already think of the many hassles on the spot: the paperwork, the stamp, the control of travel on behalf of  € œSafetyâ €. The corset of a system that, despite the revolution of 2011, has beautiful remains.

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Being a correspondent in Tunis, it is also to cover neighboring Libya. The two countries, which experienced a meltdown in 1974, are very close. The affinity is especially strong with Tripolitania (in the West), which belongs to the same human and historical space as Tunisia. Before the wave of the "Arab Spring", the Tunisian labor force was large to have migrated to Libya, eldorado then shining a thousand fires of his oil. But during the Libyan uprising of 2011, the flow reversed: Libyans fleeing the fighting flocked en masse to Djerba, Sfax or Tunis. Since then, many have returned to the country but the Libyan chaos, which is being erased, imposes constant back and forth.

Tunis, diplomatic antechamber of Tripoli

In the peaceful atmosphere of Tunis, one takes â € "at a distance â €" the pulse of Tripoli-la-ferreuse. In the time of some discrete conclaves, the political or military leaders Libyan bottling the lobbies of luxury hotels of Gammarth, resort north of Tunis. The Tunisian capital, theater of many mediations, is the diplomatic antechamber of Tripoli. All rival factions cross it secretly, conspicuously, and spy on each other most often. Recently, while I was chatting in a hotel with a "Activist of civil society" Coming from Benghazi, we suddenly had to change places at his express request. The man had blamed himself as he sat on our side with another Libyan visitor, coming from an opposing obedience.

These Tunisian meetings are precious between two stays on the spot which, for me, have never exceeded three per year. Obtaining the visa is baroque and often unpredictable, in the image of a country upside down. In this Libya fractured between two rival powers, it is necessary to turn to a different authority depending on whether one plans to go to Cyrene (East) or Tripolitania (West).

"Delivered to myself in a disappointed establishment, I will wait three days without any news of the interview promised by General Haftar"

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