Chad has announced that the border which it shares with Libya will be closed due to the threat of infiltration of terrorists from Libya.
The government of Chad also added that security will be boosted in the region.
“Faced with the perils that threaten all of the nation’s territory, the government decided for one thing to close our land border with Libya, and for another to declare the regions bordering Libya military operation zones,” Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacke said in a message broadcast on radio and television.
The Prime Minister explained the reason for the border closure being that, “Following their defeat, some isolated terrorist groups have gathered in the south of Libya, putting the northern frontier of our country potentially exposed to a serious threat of a terrorist infiltration.”
He, however, failed to further explain what terrorist groups he was referring to or what defeat they had endured.
Chad’s proposed closure of its border with Libya has also caused some critics to question the timing. Reason being that a military base belonging to a rebel group which marched on N’Djamena to overthrow Déby in 2008 was bombarded by regime forces a week before Christmas.
Nonetheless, the Premier’s announcement comes weeks after the African Union’s security chief, Smail Chergui warned that thousands of Islamic State (IS) terrorists have been expelled from Libya by a four-month US bombing campaign in the port city of Sirte. He also warned that they could be seeking to permeate sub-Saharan Africa.
Chergui added that some of the IS fighters were Africans and were already in Yemen and Somalia.
Chad, a western African country presided over by Idris Deby first suffered terror setbacks through cross-border attacks by Nigeria’s Boko Haram
Chad is also a key player in the regional military force set up in conjunction with Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon and Niger to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency.