Tensions rise in Ghadames over plans to reopen border with Algeria

Dec 13, 2023 | Libyan actors

Tensions have been rising in the town of Ghadames in the south-west of Libya precipitated by the planned reopening of the Ghadames – Debdeb border with Algeria which was planned for the 12 December. This saw the Government of National Unity (GNU) mobilising its forces to attempt to secure the border and wider town, bringing them into conflict with the local Security Directorate and forces.

On 13 December, the House of Representatives (HoR) issued statement No. 12 of 2023 denouncing violations of security and peace and the intimidation of citizens occuring in Ghadames. It called for all armed formations to leave the city and to leave securing the city to the local Security Directorate. It also called for the Attorney General to open an investigation into the damages caused in the city. On 14 December, the Ghadames municipal council began a sit-in, refusing to carry out any economic or administrative activities until the GNU military formations leave the town.

In his briefing to the UN Security Council on 18 December, Bathily said that in recent months, ‘military expansion in the western region, with a particular focus on the border crossings of Ras Jadir and Ghadames, led to increased tension in nearby cities such as Zuwara (adjacent to Ras Jadir) and Ghadames.