Libya's Eastern Authorities Reject Joint Border Security Agreement
TRIPOLI, June 07, (Xinhua) - Libya's eastern-based House of Representatives (Parliament) has rejected an agreement signed by the Tripoli-based UN-backed Government of National Accord with southern neighbouring countries on joint border security.
"The committee of foreign affairs of the House of Representatives announces to the whole world its rejection of any agreement or treaty signed by the Government of National Accord with international parties before returning to the committee and the House of Representatives, the legitimate legislator authorized to approve any international agreement or treaty," it said in a statement.
Last week, Libya's Foreign Minister Mohamed Sayala of the Tripoli-based unity government signed an agreement with Niger, Chad and Sudan to secure the southern joint border against human and weapons smuggling.
"Any treaty that overlooks the constitutional and legal norms is considered a violation to the Libyan sovereignty and gross harm to the democratic path of the country," the parliament statement said.
The committee also warned that "violation of the Libyan sovereignty and infringement of the border and territories will be responded to firmly."
The southern Libyan border, a barren desert, is a large crossing point for illegal immigrants, as well as the movement of militant groups between Libya and its neighbouring countries.
Faced with serious difficulties in securing its borders, Libya has repeatedly called upon the three neighbouring countries to implement protection programs for the long border.
Despite signing an UN-sponsored peace agreement, and appointment of the unity government in late 2015, Libya remains politically divided between eastern and western authorities competing for legitimacy.