North African countries discuss collaboration on securing borders

Nine northern African countries including Libya, Algeria and Egypt agreed on Monday to work together to secure their borders in a move to clamp down on militia clashes and weapons smuggling in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings.
Under the Tripoli Plan, countries will adopt stronger measures including sharing intelligence and pouring more money into border towns.
“Security alone is not enough in keeping our borders safe,” Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib said at a conference of interior ministers in Tripoli on Monday. “We must develop and increase the resources of towns near the borders.”
While most of the plan’s points have yet to be implemented, it is the first time North African interior ministers have met to discuss border security since the beginning of the Libyan war last year.

Repeated clashes in poorly-policed border zones have pushed the issue up the political agenda in recent months.

Egyptian media have reported a rise in arms smuggling across the Libyan border since the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.
The failure of Libya’s government to keep order at the main Tunisian border crossing that leads to Tripoli has also emerged as a challenge for the National Transitional Council that took over after Gaddafi’s overthrow and killing last year.

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