By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 16 May 2015:
Tunisian fears that . . .[restrict]terrorists may be using Libyan passports to enter the country have resulted in them refusing to accept certain Libyan passport holders, according to a Tunisian immigration source.
Holders of the old green Libyan passports issued in Sebha and Sirte, of any green passports issued before 7 August 2007 or since 31 December 2013, and of any new blue electronic passports which have been filled in by hand are being turned back at the main border crossing at Ras Jedir, the Libya Herald has been told. In addition, immigration officials at the border post are insisting that Libyan children over five years of age have their own passport.
Reports that a quantity of Libyan passports have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State (IS) and their supporters are the reason for the move, the source said.
IS now controls the passport office in Sirte. Passports are also reported to have disappeared from the office in Sebha. There are additional concerns about some passports issued elsewhere.
Passports are printed and issued in Tripoli and, despite the political divisions, are still being dispatched to other passport-issuing centres in Misrata, Beida, Benghazi and Tobruk. However, certainly in the case of the office in Tripoli, the process is riddled with corruption, with applicants widely reported being prevented from getting to the head of the application queue unless they pay guards large bribes.
The passport office in Sebha is now being used mainly for passport extensions. [/restrict]