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- UNHCR Update Libya (17 January 2020)
KHARTOUM, Feb. 26 — Libya’s prime minister, Abdullah al-Thani, has issued a decision to lift ban on the entry of Sudanese citizens to Libya.
Last Month, the internationally recognised Libyan government announced a ban on the entry of citizens from Sudan, Syria and Palestine.
Libya’s interior minister Omer al-Sanki attributed the decision to Intel suggesting that citizens from these countries are flocking in to join “terrorist groups” fighting the Libyan army in Benghazi and other cities in the western part of the country.
The new spokesperson of Sudan’s foreign ministry, Ali al-Sadiq, said al-Thani issued the decision on 18 February, saying it is an expression of gratitude to the role played by Sudanese workers in the development and renaissance of Libya.
He pointed that 39 Sudanese citizens had been denied entry to Libya following the ban but were later allowed to enter, noting that 40 others had arrived safely in the Libyan territory after al-Thani’s recent decision.
Al-Sadiq also said the Libyan decision comes in recognition of the growing role played by Sudan in coordination with the Arab League (AL), Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), African Union (AU), United Nations (UN) and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States (SEN-SAD) to achieve peace and stability in Libya.
Sudan has been accused of supporting Libya’s Islamist militias that are currently in control of Tripoli.
Last September, al-Thinni said Sudan had attempted to airlift weapons and ammunition to the new rulers in Tripoli.
Khartoum denied this, saying the weapons were meant for the joint border force.
Thinni’s main military partner, former army general Khalifa Heftar, has also accused Sudanese of having joined Ansar al-Shar’ia and other Islamist groups which are battling pro-government forces in the eastern city of Benghazi.
In an interview with the Abu-Dhabi based al-Etihad newspaper on Sunday, the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir disclosed that his country is coordinating with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to contain the explosive situation in Libya and ensure that the conflict does not expand.
He warned of the seriousness of the Libya fighting on the region and its effects on security and stability, saying his government worked with all parties to contain the crisis in Libya and noted that a joint Sudanese-Libyan border force was established.