By Mustafa Khalifa.
Ghat, 3 August 2015:
Algeria plans to re-open its border with Libya in the next few days, according to Algerian . . .[restrict]media reports. The Ghadames-Debdeb and Ghat-Tin El Koum border crossings have been closed since May 2014, although this has not stopped illegal migrants entering Libya or terrorist movements in either direction.
According to the reports, the Algerian government took the decision to reopen the crossings a few days ago and has begun technical preparations to implement the action. Military and political circumstances are said to be improved.
However, although Libyans will be allowed to enter Algerian territory, Algerians will not be allowed to travel to Libya. Algeria is still nervous about the number of its own citizens who have joined militant Islamists in Libya – to be trained there, fight there or use Libya as a staging post to travel to Syria and Iraq, usually via Turkey. According to the Algerian daily El-Khabar, Algerian intelligence believe that 64 Algerians fighting with IS in Libya have been killed in recent months.
Just under a year ago, it was reported that Algeria was looking at the idea of an electronic fence along the border because of concerns about the movement of terrorists and arms from Libya. It has not happened although Tunisia is doing so.
Last month it was reported that Algeria has acquired a further 1,680 vehicles to patrol both its Tunisian and Libyan borders. [/restrict]