Tripoli_ Quick and decisive measures must be adopted in order to preserve Libya’s sovereignty and protect its security in light of the great threats and challenges facing the southern region and Libya as a whole, the Deputy President of the Presidential Council Mr. Mousa al-Kouni told senior army officers from the southern region during a meeting in Tripoli on Tuesday, according the Libyan News Agency (LANA).
The important meeting comes in the aftermath of a deadly terrorist suicide car bombing at a checkpoint which killed the head of the General Department of Criminal Investigation (GDCI) in Sebha and his assistant. The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on Sunday. In a statement issued by ISIS arm, Amaq, the group claimed it targeted a checkpoint.
During the meeting which focused on national and border security, Al-Kouni heard from the officers their assessment of the security situation in the region especially border security with the countries of Chad and Niger and their suggestions as to what would be the best actions to be taken by the government there, LANA said.
Al-Kouni maintains that the Presidential Council, which represents all Libyans, is working hard in cooperation of the international community to unify all state institutions, foremost of which is the military, through communication with all parties and military leaders throughout the country.
Al-Kouni agreed with the military officers attending the meeting that the situation in the south is dangerous and there is an urgent need for the unification of the Libyan National Army. There is also a need for a comprehensive strategy for national security that includes all military units in the east, south and west of Libya to combat terrorism and prevent smuggling and illegal immigration.
He considered that overcoming the crisis of confidence between all parties would open the way for their unification and contribution to the establishment of security and the imposition of state sovereignty, LANA added.
He stressed that due to the events witnessed by African countries bordering Libya including Chad, Niger, Mali and others and the fact that terrorist groups find in the chaos in Libya an opportunity to expand and infiltrate the south necessitates the quick formation of a joint force to protect the southern borders.
The meeting pointed at the need to reactivate the Border Guard forces, grant them all equipment and the training they need.
Al-Kouni pointed out that the efforts by the Presidential Council to unify and develop the Libyan military institution are not limited to working with local parties only, but there are urgent contacts and endeavors going on with the international community aiming at soliciting its support in this regard, especially with the European Union and great powers to re
Among the council’s external efforts, he explained, are the contacts with neighboring countries regarding cooperation and coordination at the highest security and political levels including in the exchange of information related to controlling common borders and confronting terrorist groups, international organized crime gangs, human traffickers, illegal immigration, arms smuggling.
In his exchange with the officers, Al-Koni warned that the recent terrorist bombing that targeted a security checkpoint in the city of Sebha was not the first, but rather it is another wake-up call to all of us, especially the military and security forces, to be vigilant and alert to this continuing threat.
This danger to Libya’s present and future should motivates all parties in the country to unite efforts and come together for the interest of the nation, he concluded.