Libya Closes Borders, Declares Much of South a ‘Military Zone’

Military Given Supreme Authority in Six Provinces

The Libyan National Congress (LNC) has announced that it is closing its southern and eastern borders for an indefinite period of time, and that it is declaring six provinces, covering the bulk of the south, a “closed military zone.”

The LNC decree went on to give the Defense Ministry the power to impose a military governor on each of the six provinces, with unchecked power to arrest people and deport “illegal immigrants.”

Southern provinces have been increasingly embroiled in tribal clashes in recent months, and many of the southern representatives to the LNC were boycotting the body when it declared their regions under military rule.

The government’s official statement cited an increased flow of “illegal immigrants in the expectation of eventual international military action in Mali” as the justification for its move, though it isn’t clear how much of the fighting has anything to do with factions in Azawad.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of