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Libya calls for regional security alliance

Libya’s authorities are looking to form joint forces with Algeria, Egypt and Tunisia to secure the border, curb illegal immigration, and stop arms smuggling and drug trafficking.

Interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani said last week that his country was working on forming the units to stop the security chaos that has plagued Libya since the fall of Kadhafi.

He noted that the request was made after these countries expressed alarm over conditions in Libya.

“Libya’s neighbouring countries have real concerns over the security situation on our soil, and therefore, we’re trying to form forces with Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt by activating joint forces agreements,” he said August 12th.

He added that his country would try to repeat the experience of joint forces between Sudan’s armed forces and the Libyan army by signing agreements with Chad, Niger, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt.

“We’re trying to activate joint forces agreements, and we have a successful experience in securing our borders with Sudan,” he added.

He confirmed that terrorism, which has become a regional and global threat, required neighbouring countries and the region as a whole to draw up a more comprehensive strategy.

Security is today a shared responsibility, he added.

The Libyan authorities’ initiative came after they failed to control and recover militias’ arms; something that now poses a threat not only to domestic security but also to that of its neighbours.

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki earlier said that the ideal solution for countering the growing security threat was to create joint forces between Libya and its neighbours to secure common borders.

“This solution is accepted by Libya and we’ll work on implementing it,” he said on July 13th.

International relations professor Mohamed Ben Zekri said it was about time security and military co-operation between Libya and neighbouring countries was consolidated because what’s happening in Libya was affecting the internal conditions of adjacent states.

“All parties now fully realise that terrorism has become a cross-border, regional and global phenomenon that must be confronted through coordination between all sides,” he said.

“Now that they have refused to militarily intervene in Libya, they have to establish a joint strategy to uproot terrorism and preserve security,” Ben Zerkri told Magharebia.

Libya’s neighbours last week-end said they rejected foreign intervention in the country and preferred a political solution to the crisis.

Tunisian Foreign Minister Mongi Hamdi on August 11th confirmed that neighbouring countries were neither expecting any strikes in Libya nor encouraging any intervention therein, and were categorically rejecting outside intervention.

Last week, Libyan lawmakers voted to request foreign help.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted “by 111 of the 124 deputies present a resolution calling on the international community to intervene quickly to protect civilians in Libya, notably Tripoli and Benghazi”, MP Abu Bakr Biira told AFP.

Article by Monia Ghanmi, Magharebia.

This article was originally published here.

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