By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 7 January 2017:
Chadian prime minister Albert Pahimi Padacket has ordered the closure of his country’s border with Libya to prevent Islamic State terrorists crossing over. The entire border zone has been declared a military area.
IS fighters, he said, were heading south in Libya and converging towards Chad.
There have been systematic reports in Libya of the militants moving south following their defeat in Sirte.
This latest move would, Padacket explained, “would put a stop to all attempts by terrorists groups to infiltrate the national territory”.
It is not clear how realistic is the assertion. The Chadian-Libyan border is extremely porous. Efforts to prevent people smuggling across it have proved extremely ineffective.
Two weeks ago, supposedly nervous about the reports of growing numbers of militants in southern Libya, Chad’s interior minister banned Chadians from heading there.
There are, however, allegations that the real reason for the border’s closure is not so much concern about IS terrorists moving into Chad as of Chadian rebels based in Libya doing so.
A group opposed to President Idriss Deby, called the Front pour l’Alternance et la Concorde au Tchad, and which has been operating out of southern Libya is said to be growing in strength and recruiting young Chadians to its ranks.