Conflict

Neighbouring Countries Close Borders With Libya Due To Ongoing Conflict

North Africa

The spillover of security issues as a result of the civil conflict has pushed neighbouring countries to close their borders with Libya.

The ongoing conflict in Libya has rendered the country a security risk for neighbouring countries, especially those on the western border: Tunisia and Algeria. The current military clashes are mostly concentrated in the west of the country, near the borders with Tunisia and Algeria.

This report shows a long queue of cars and other vehicles waiting at the Libyan-Tunisian border at Ras Anjir, with trade being disrupted as well as people visiting families across the border finding it problematic crossing the border.

An Algerian citizen, Abu Jimaa, speaks of the difficulties in passing across the border for simple social purposes:

“I am an Algerian citizen married to a Libyan woman. I have difficulties in traveling between Algeria and Libya caused by the closed borders and I travel about 1800 km to reach Libya through Tunisia.”

A number of security incidents have been reported near the borders with Libya. One recent incident was the emergency plane landing of a plan belonging to the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Tunisian territory.

The Libya-Tunisian border was closed in 2018 as a result of a trade dispute. This was at a time when the Tunisian authorities were keen on minimising the amount of Libyan exports to Tunisia, which they deemed to be harmful to the Tunisian economy. Furthermore, long delays at the border have been a frequent occurrence as security checks take their toll on those crossing.

Libya’s southern neighbour Chad also closed its border with Libya in late August, citing security concerns. Chadian militias have been known to be involved in the civil conflict in Libya with tribal ties crossing the border between the two countries.

The intensification of the civil conflict in Libya as a result of the LNA offensive launched against Tripoli in April has put neighbouring countries on high alert as the situation in Libya refuses to stabilise.