Sources in Libya have claimed that the government in Tripoli is seeking assistance from Saudi Arabia to prevent armed groups infiltrating its borders. Saudi Arabia has expertise in blocking such groups as well as illegal immigrants trying to cross its borders from Yemen.
Libyan Defence Minister Abdullah Al-Thini said that his government will cooperate with Saudi Arabia to protect the Libyan border. He said that they are looking at the Saudi model because of the similarities in their borders and the problems experienced. “This will include the use of a satellite surveillance monitoring system, using Italian technology,” he claimed.
Human traffickers smuggle refugees across the remote Libyan border as well as into Egypt, Sudan and Chad. Once in Libya, they try to get to Italy by boat. Hundreds of refugees have died over the past two months en route for the Italian island of Lampedusa midway between Libya and Malta.
The Libyan army lacks the professional training and equipment needed for border security, which has led to porous borders. This has turned the country into a corridor for the smuggling of weapons to Al-Qaeda in sub-Saharan Africa as well as the entry of illegal immigrants heading in the opposite direction towards Europe.