Africans from neighboring countries in southern Libya demanded to leave by March 17
(EBC; March 9, 2018)- Libya's eastern-based army on Thursday set a March 17 deadline for nationals from neighboring African countries in southern Libya to leave in order to curb the erupting violence there, warning else they would be removed by force.
The information office of the army led by General Khalifa Haftar said in a statement that "The General Command of the Armed Forces of Libya calls on African brothers from neighboring countries not to be dragged behind the lawless militias and be exploited to destabilize the south."
March 17 is "the deadline for their departure from the Libyan territory. After the date, they will be removed by force," said the statement.
The army also called on tribal elders and leaders in southern Libya to "stop social support for all those who help in any way protect or house African nationals, leading to destabilization of southern Libya."
It made the appeal after fighting between rival tribes in southern Libya reportedly caused casualties and displaced hundreds of people.
Recent tribal clashes in the city of Sabha, located some 800 km southwest of capital Tripoli, have killed 10 civilians and injured 30 others, the Sabha medical center said.
Immigrants from such neighboring countries as Chad and Niger have been accused of involvement in the tribal conflicts in Sabha. Hamed Al-Khiali, head of the municipal council of Sabha, said last month that the local airport was occupied by "an armed group that has nothing to do with Libya." The armed group carried the flags of African countries, Al-khiali added.
Recently in Tripoli, the UN-backed government announced measures to support its forces in Sabha to fight the so-called "mercenaries."