The Libyan National Army sent military reinforcements to the southern border, which extends over an area of more than 1,500 kilometers, and its patrols roamed the desert in order to confront smuggling and organized crime activities.
The past two days witnessed intense activity of army patrols, especially the “El Salvador Triangle” between Libya, Niger, and Algeria, which is classified as one of the most dangerous centers of organized crime in Africa.
According to what was stated by the LNA’s media official, Aguila Al-Saber:
- The LNA General Command formed a force from the elements of the “73 Brigade”, “128 Reinforced Brigade”, “Al-Waw Company”, and “Battalion 672”. They gathered at the company’s headquarters in the “Umm Al-Aranib” town in the south of the country. Then the combined forces moved to the city of Qatroun under the command of the Commander of the Southern Operations Room of the Libyan National Army, Major General Mabrouk Sahban, to be divided into four groups.
- During the past two days, these groups distributed to their new locations in the southern border strip, especially with Chad and Niger.
- Most of the patrols were concentrated in areas close to Niger, with which Libya shares a 354-kilometer border, to secure the “El Salvador Triangle” and the Grendika region, passing through the Naqaza point, the Al-Tom land crossing with Niger, and Wadi Baghara, according to the officials of the 672nd Battalion.
- The Battalion indicated that these patrols come to confront any security breaches during the month of Ramadan, as outlaw groups are active in illegal immigration activities, drug trafficking, and fuel smuggling.
El Salvador Triangle
The El Salvador Triangle, located between Libya, Algeria, and Niger, is one of the most dangerous centers of organized crime in Africa, according to the Regional Observatory of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.
According to a study by the Observatory, the “El Salvador Triangle” is used as a transit area in the Sahel and Sahara region of Africa for large criminal entities specialized in smuggling weapons and drugs, as well as migrants and fuel, but regular military patrols in the region have succeeded in significantly reducing criminal activity there.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Libya, Abdoulaye Bathily, praised the efforts of the military and security leaders in securing the southern region and protecting the country’s natural resources, after a meeting with them in the city of Sebha, in the south of the country.
“I commended their efforts to maintain security in the south and ensure the unity and territorial integrity of Libya,” said Bathily.
The main challenge the mission encountered was due to the vast area of desert and borderlands in southern Libya shared with 4 countries, which require great capabilities and forces to secure, in addition to the difficult natural terrain, as explained by the strategic expert, Brigadier General Muhammad al-Rejbani.
Since the security chaos that erupted in 2011, terrorist groups and organized crime gangs have taken advantage of the desert paths and difficult terrain there to carry out their operations, maneuver, and hide, which means that the army needs great support to succeed in securing the borders.