Tripoli, 30 December:
Security personnel and troops from the national army have been preparing a new checkpoint, Kilometre 200, on the road . . .[restrict]between Kufra and Jalu, Libyan news agency LANA reported today.
Abdullah Ben Idriss, of the Jalu Journalists’ Association, told LANA that the army had worked together with the local council in Jalu to set up the new checkpoint, which is part of increased efforts to prevent smuggling in the area.
The General National Congress declared areas of south Libya a “closed military zone” on 16 December, and announced that borders with Algeria, Sudan, Chad and Niger would temporarily be shut off in an effort to combat problems with illegal immigration and smuggling in the region, and to boost security in the south.
Since the announcement, Libyan air force fighter jets and troops from the national army have hit several targets in south Libya that they say are connected to groups involved in smuggling and people trafficking.
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan said in a speech presenting his programme of government that improving security in the south of Libya would be a top priority for his tenure, and he had been liaising with the governments of Libya’s southern neighbours to try and boost cross-border surveillance. [/restrict]