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2013-05-02

AFRICA/TUNISIA - Two armed groups are being chased after on the border with Algeria; concern for jihadists fleeing from Mali

Tunis (Agenzia Fides) - The Tunisian security forces are looking for two armed jihadi groups, said a spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior, stating that one is located on Mount Chaambi and the other in the region of Kef. Both are located on the border with Algeria.
These groups are formed at least in part by militiamen driven out from the north of Mali by Serval operation conducted by the French army to regain control of the area from the hands of some jihadist organizations. Recently the British newspaper The Guardian issued a warning on the folding towards Libya of the jihadi fighters driven out of northern Mali. "If one presses a balloon on the one hand, it swells on the other," said an expert of the International Crisis Group to The Guardian, noting that "there is no doubt that the French operations in Mali have had the effect of compressing the balloon towards Algeria and Libya."
The presence of various Libyan armed militias and the thriving black market of weapons supplied by the Libyan arsenals unattended as a result of the civil war of 2011 add further concerns for the stability of North Africa. Weapons of Libyan origin were detected in Mali, Egypt, Gaza and in the hands of the Syrian armed opposition groups.
Algeria, Tunisia and Libya said they want to work together to ensure the security of their borders and try to stop the trafficking of weapons and the movement of illegal armed groups in the region. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/05/2013)

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