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Algeria considers military intervention in Libya to deter jihadist groups

May 13, 2014 at 10:18 am

The Algerian army is assembling its troops stationed on the border with Tunisia as the Ministry of Defence works to increase the country’s defence budget fearing an escalation in the region’s security situation, reported Jordanian newspaper Al-Arab Al-Yawm.

Algerian security agencies have been monitoring carefully the deteriorating security situation in Libya, which analysts believe could escalate into a new civil war.

Security and defence experts believe the situation in Libya is worrisome to both Western and North African countries, which fear it might spread to neighbouring Tunisia.

These fears increased when Tunisia received confirmed reports that hundreds of Tunisian Islamist militants have now returned from Syria to settle in neighbouring Libya, potentially threatening the Tunisian government’s fragile unity coalition.

According to the reports, Tunisian militants play a major role in the jihadist movement in Libya and assume leadership positions in various groups, including the Al-Qaeda inspired Ansar Al-Sharia militia group.

A rise in the militants’ activities could stir a regional conflict spreading across Tunisia, Libya, Mali and even Sudan.

Libya’s former Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril warned earlier that demanding foreign intervention is difficult and complex, but also acknowledged that solving the Libyan internal dilemma is not possible without foreign help.

The Algerian military establishment supports a military intervention in Libya; however, the political establishment has expressed some reservations. At the same time, in his latest speech Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika started to prepare the public for the possibility of a military response to the deteriorating situation in Mali and Libya, saying that the country’s borders have been attacked.