Egypt suspends consular activity in Benghazi over security concerns
Tripoli, 8 November:
The Egyptian consulate in Benghazi closed on Monday due to concerns that its staff did not have adequate security cover. There have been repeated attacks on the mission in recent weeks and many members of staff have received death threats because of changes in the consulate’s practice of issuing visas.
In mid-October, the consulate was the scene of violent protests when 20 men attacked security guards and damaged surveillance cameras. The protestors were reportedly agents who earned a living applying for visas for third parties. Under new regulations, applicants now have to apply for their own visas.
There have also threats against the consular offices because of growing frustration at the length of time to process visa requests.
Staff at the consulate say they have appealed to Libyan authorities for protection but that they requests have been ignored.
The Libya Herald understands that other diplomatic missions throughout the country have become increasingly concerned about security provision, including a number of Tripoli embassies.
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