Tripoli, 2 January:
The head of the General National Congress Mohamed Magarief arrived in Sebha this morning as part of a fact-finding visit to Libya’s south, Libyan news agency LANA reported.
Magarief arrived at Sebha International Airport with a delegation of GNC officials, and will visit towns in the region “to get a clear, accurate vision of the circumstances that our brothers in the south are living with”, he told LANA.
He added that the visit was also to help the government to pass resolutions fitted to south Libya’s specific needs.
Ayoub Al-Zaroug, head of the Sebha Local Council, said that the delegation will also visit Wadi Al-Shati and Sebha to meet with the local councils and representatives from civil society organisations.
The commander of the Sebha military council, Major General Omran Al-Tawil, and the leader of the national army operations group in the area, Colonel Wanis Bukhamada, also welcomed the GNC delegation visit.
They told LANA that the visit will be an opportunity to discuss the problems of the military zone that covers parts of South Libya, and that Magarief and his delegation would be able to see the difficulties faced by the region first hand.
Magarief’s visit came as the army told LANA that its units around Kufra had carried out sweeps around the town over the past two days with support from units of the air force.
Last month, the GNC passed a law sealing Libya’s southern borders with Chad, Niger, Algeria and Sudan for “internal security reasons” and declared swathes of south Libya a “closed military zone” in an effort to stem illegal immigration and smuggling across Libya’s porous southern borders.
Since the legislation was passed, there have been reports that Libyan air force jets and army units have attacked groups thought be involved in trafficking people, drugs and weapons across the southern borders.