Libya bans Palestinians, Sudanese and Syrians from entering country amid terror threat

Fearing further destabilization, Libya imposes indefinite ban on entry of suspected nationals.

By JPOST.COM STAFF, REUTERS
January 6, 2015 12:17
1 minute read.
Libyan Army RPG

Libyan Pro-Gov. RPG. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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In an unprecedented move, Libya has imposed a ban on Palestinian, Sudanese and Syrian nationals from entering the country.

Citing an intelligence report claiming that radicalized nationals from those countries were determined to infiltrate Libya, Interior Minister Omar Al-Sinki added that the ban is meant to thwart those who would "commit terrorist acts against the army and police in Benghazi and towns in western Libya," The Libya Herald reported. 

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Control for the North African country, which has been gripped by violent civil war since 2011 is largely being contested by two sides, the internationally recognized government in the East headed by the General National Congress, and its rival Libyan Dawn, which seized control of Tripoli in August.

Expressing concern over the country's fate and beseeching the international community to implement some sort of intervention, earlier this December Foreign Minster Mohamed Dayri warned of what may happen if the the political situation in Libya does not improve.

"If we don't do the right thing now, in two years' time we could have - hopefully not - a repeat of what happened in Syria in 2014 because the international community didn't react adequately."

Adding urgency to this statement, in December forces allied to the rival Libyan Dawn maneuvered toward Libya's coveted oilfields, igniting clashes in two key port cities, Es Sider and Ras Lanuf.

Yet the most high profile act of violence to have come from the current conflict in Libya has been the assassination of American ambassador Chris Stevens in 2012, who was killed in an RPG attack by elements suspected of belonging to Ansar al-Sharia, a group linked to al-Qaida and more recently to the Islamic State.



Ansar al-Sharia is recognized by the US as a terrorist organization and is also a prime suspect in the attack on the country's oil producing facilities. Still while the organization is a possible culprit for the alleged importation of foreign jihadists, the name is often attributed to various Islamist groups fighting in the Libya.

Al-Sinki said that the entry ban on Palestinian, Sudanese and Syrian nationals was indefinite, and will be enforced at airports, seaports and border crossings.





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