By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 11 February 2103:
Libya’s land borders with Tunisia and Egypt are to be closed over the period of the revolution anniversary, from midnight on 14 February until 18 February. Flights from abroad will also be curtailed. Announcing the decision this evening, Monday, Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said that it had been made in consultation with Congress President Mohamed Magarief and was a “precautionary measure” to ensure security over the four-day period.
There have been calls by Cyrenaica federalists for demonstrations on 15 February, the anniversary of the day the revolution actually started in Benghazi. These have been picked up by other opponents of Congress and the government and have resulted in concerns that there could be attacks and attempts to destabilise the country during the anniversary. Security has been massively stepped up as a result with extra forces and a vast number of extra vehicle checkpoints on the streets.
Complaining that there were too many unfounded rumours about the security situation, Zeidan said the government was determined to ensure the anniversary was celebrated in “an appropriate atmosphere”.
Libya’s border with Egypt was recently closed indefinitely to all foreigners except Egyptians, and the land border with Tunisia has been closed so many times in the past few months that the Tunisian state shipping company has decided it is worthwhile to start a cargo service between Tunis and Khoms.