TRIPOLI, June 20 (Reuters) – Forces loyal to Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, based in the east, have closed the border with Algeria, they said on Sunday, after major deployments of his forces in the south had underlined its continued role despite efforts to unify the country.
Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) last week sent troops to the southern town of Sebha, which was already allied with eastern forces, then on Saturday to a southern border post with Algeria.
“The armed forces have closed the Lebanese-Algerian border and declared it a military zone in which movement is prohibited,” said the Department of Moral Guidance, a press unit of the ANL.
The nearly 1,000 kilometer (620 mile) border between Algeria and Libya crosses a mostly uninhabited desert with few crossings.
Haftar was blamed last year after his 14-month offensive against Tripoli failed, as a new unity government backed by a UN-facilitated peace process questioned his position Politics.
However, despite progress towards a political solution for Libya after a decade of violence and chaos, most of the country is still controlled by armed groups, corruption is rampant, and outside powers involved in the conflict have failed to come forward. withdrawn.
Progress is expected on Sunday in implementing the terms of a military ceasefire in place since September, with the planned reopening of the main coastal road through the front lines, and foreign powers will meet in Berlin this week for talks on Libya.
(Report from Reuters Libya newsroom, written by Angus McDowall and edited by Raissa Kasolowsky)