By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 3 March 2013:
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan stressed at Thursday’s press conference that non-Libyan nationals of the same tribe in . . .[restrict]neighbouring states will need visas to enter Libya.
Zeidan was reacting to the Egyptian Awlad Ali tribe members who live on the other side of Libya’s border with Egypt. This tribe is dissected by the border, with half of them living in Libya and half in Egypt.
During the Qaddafi era, these Awlad Ali tribes were allowed access into Libya without restrictions. This form of favouritism has created friction with the rest of Egyptians who are forced to obtain a visa to enter Libya.
The Prime Minister stressed that Libya’s borders need control and discipline. He referred to the recent capture of a huge drugs haul in a fishing trawler by the coastal guards.
“Securing the border of Libya is securing the safety and security of the (Libyan) citizen. Members of the Awalad Ali, Tebu or Toureg tribes who do not hold a Libyan nationality are not our responsibility. We are a Libyan government are responsible only for those holding Libyan passports. We are not responsible for whole tribes”, Zeidan added.
“These arrangements – ability to enter without visas – were organized by the regime. You know why Qaddafi did that…for personal exploitation. We cannot give one tribe access without a visa whilst not the others. What about all our other friends in Egypt from other tribes, and our other friends in our neighbouring countries from other tribes?”
“We hope to remove the need for visas once the security situation is good”, he added. [/restrict]