CAIRO: The Libyan government denied its intention to build a barrier on its border with Egypt, Badr Abdel Atty, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, told The Cairo Post Sunday.
The General Staff of the Libyan military had announced Saturday evening that Libya would build a barrier and trenches along its border with Egypt to counter smuggling, illegal immigration, and minefields, according to media reports.
A Libyan military committee recently inspected the vicinity of the Egyptian-Libyan borders to locate minefields, an anonymous Libyan military source told Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper Sunday, adding that expressed security and military concerns regarding growing waves of illegal immigration across the border.
Moreover, Libyan sources told the London-based Middle East International newspaper on Sunday that the military committee was looking into the proposal concerning the establishment of barriers along the border which are set to cover the area from Umm Al-Sa’ad until Giarabub.
Security forces on the Egyptian-Libyan border in Salloum had arrested 54 people of Egyptian and Sudanese nationality on Saturday, accusing them of attempting to illegally enter Libya, reported Youm7.
Egypt’s western border with Libya witnessed instability following the January 25 Revolution, which led to an influx of huge amounts of weapons into the country as well as the migration of many into Libya.
Relations with Libya have been especially strained during the last few months. A 15-year-old Egyptian girl was abducted in Libya by gunmen late April.
On Feb. 24, seven Christian Egyptians were found shot dead on a beach in Benghazi, marked as one of the most brutal attacks against Egyptians in its western neighboring country.
The government has struggled with maintaining security since the ouster of Muammar Gadhafi, and the country has witnessed a number of assassinations of local security and military officials.