Watching Libya December 18, 2012

Libya acts to establish law and order in the South. Libya‘s borders with Chad, Niger, Sudan and Algeria have been temporarily closed “pending new regulations".  The provinces of Ghadames, Ghat, Obari, al-Shati, Sabha, Murzuq and Kufra have been declared "closed military zones". The decision was taken by the General National Congress on December 16. It also resolved to empower the ministry of defence to appoint a military governor from outside these areas.

Earlier this month Prime Minister Ali Zeidan called for a meeting in Libya with Chad, Mali, Niger and Sudan regarding border security in the region. Congress is concerned with widespread lawlessness in the south of the country, especially drug trafficking, weapons’ smuggling and illegal migration. Clearly, effective action regarding these issues cannot be effectively tackled without regional cooperation. Moreover, these issues impact on regional stability.