Chad closes border with Libya over terrorist threat
Chad has closed its border with Libya on Friday and will deploy troops to prevent militant fighters from entering its territory, the government has announced.
“Some isolated terrorist groups have converged towards southern Libya, that is, on the northern frontier of our country, which is thus potentially exposed to a serious threat of infiltration,’’ Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke said.
Chad is a key ally of the West in fighting radical Islamist movements in West Africa.
The closure of the border and the establishment of a military zone will be applied immediately, Padacke said.
“With these two decisions, the government intends to stop any eventuality that could trouble the calm of our populations in these regions and threaten peace inside our borders,’’ the premier added.
Padacke expressed concern over what he described as the deteriorating security situation in Libya, which slid into chaos after longtime dictator Moamer Gaddafi was overthrown and slain in a 2011 uprising.
Islamic State was ousted from the city of Sirte in December, but is still thought to be present in parts of southern and eastern Libya.