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Africa

2012-12-20

AFRICA/LIBYA - "Security is the top priority of my government," says the Libyan Premier

Tripoli (Agenzia Fides) - "Libya is not a State that threatens the security of other States and internal security is a priority of my government." This was stated yesterday, December 19, by the Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in describing the actions taken by his government to ensure security in southern Libya. The Premier said that the temporary closure of borders with Niger, Sudan, Algeria and Chad and the proclamation of a very large military zone closed in the southern part of the country (see Fides 17/12/2012) are solely due to "internal problems" and do not concern the relations with neighboring countries. Indeed Zeidan, back from a recent tour in some of the neighboring States, stressed that these will intensify border controls with Libya to prevent the smuggling and trafficking of weapons and people. The Libyan Premier also revealed that Algeria and Niger assured him they will control their borders with the north of Mali in the hands of some radical Islamist groups for a long time.
Trafficking of arms, drugs and human beings, and the presence of different militias that have not yet laid down their arms (a problem that also concerns throughout Libya) are the reasons given to justify the measures taken by the government in Tripoli. According to local media the Libyan air force began patrolling southern Libya and carried out several attacks against an unspecified field of smugglers. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 20/12/2012)

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