The Libyan National Army (LNA) works to secure Libya’s southern borders, especially after the eruption of an armed showdown between the Chadian army and Chadian rebels in the same area.
Some rebel elements infiltrated Libyan territories, opening the door for violent skirmishes with troops from the LNA which is commanded by Gen. Khalifa Haftar.
The LNA then moved to tighten control over the southern border.
It declared a state of emergency in the south and launched several airstrikes on the positions of Chadian rebels.
Meanwhile, the Libyan Ministry of the Interior has formed an emergency room in support of the LNA.
It expected tensions to emerge in the southern region in the coming period, especially given developments in neighbouring countries.
LNA Spokesman, Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Mesmari, announced the launch of a military operation in the southern border area.
The operation, he said, aims to secure the borders of the state, its capabilities and the safety of its citizens.
“It also aims to confirm control by the army over these areas,” he said in a statement.
He noted that the General Command of the LNA would not allow Libya to turn into a refuge for armed groups that pose threats to neighbouring countries.
Al-Mesmari said Libya would continue to abide by its stable policy of non-interference in the affairs of other states.
The General Command of the LNA announced earlier the arrival of a group of senior military commanders, headed by the commander of the Southern Operations Force, Maj. Gen. Mabrouk Sahban, to the southern borders, specifically with Chad.
It said these commanders would oversee the expanded military operations that would be launched by LNA units to ‘cleanse’ the region of armed gangs, impose security control and secure the borders, including by combating illegal migration.
On August 10, Chadian rebels attacked a special centre for mines’ clearance experts, leading to confrontations that enabled the Chadian army to take control of the attackers’ military equipment.
The LNA coordinates and cooperates with the Chadian side to control the joint Libyan-Chadian border and counter any armed operations by the Chadian opposition, which is based in the southern Libyan region.
This comes in the light of the deteriorating security situation in Libya since 2011.
Libyan military analyst, Mohamed al-Tarhouni, said the military operation launched by the LNA near the joint border with Chad is not the first.
“It was preceded by operations on the Libyan-Chadian, Nigerian and Sudanese borders, especially with increased activity by the terrorist ISIS group in these areas,” he told The Reference.