Libya orders temporary closure of borders

December 17, 2012 00:18

TRIPOLI - Libya's ruling national congress ordered the temporary closure of its borders with four of its neighbors on Sunday and declared its vast desert south a closed military zone in the face of growing unrest.

The national assembly ordered the "temporary closure of the land borders with Chad, Niger, Sudan and Algeria pending new regulations", a decree carried by the official LANA news agency said.

It added that the provinces of Ghadames, Ghat, Obari, al-Shati, Sabha, Murzuq and Kufra "are considered as closed military zones".

The decree also gave the defense ministry powers to appoint a military governor, from outside the area, with authority to arrest fugitives from justice and deport illegal immigrants.

Prime Minister Ali Zeidan returned from a regional tour last week, during which he called for a meeting in Libya with Niger, Mali, Chad and Sudan to secure regional borders.

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