28. Mai 2014 · Kommentare deaktiviert für Algerien, neues Grenzregime: Militär schränkt nomadische Bewegungsfreiheit ein · Kategorien: Algerien, Mali, Sahara

„Algeria militarizes its land border…“

On May 22, the daily El-Khabar reported: „President Bouteflika has transferred responsibility for Algeria’s land border with six neighbouring countries from the Interior Ministry to the National Defence Ministry after the closure of land border crossings with Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Libya. In accordance with the new orders, Algeria is moving towards the militarization of the 6,385-km land border. Thus, with the exception of border crossings with Tunisia, Algeria’s land border has been transferred from civilian to military control. Vast areas of the land border between Algeria and six neighbouring countries; the Kingdom of Morocco, the Sahrawi Republic, Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Libya; have become military zones and entry would be banned without permission from the military authorities. The presidential decree which stipulated the closure of land border crossings between Algeria and Libya entrenched a new security principle by the Algerian authorities which changes matters that concern Algeria’s land border to military security affairs that do not concern civilians, and that has come about after the border with brotherly Tunisia became the only land border open to Algerians.

„An Algerian security source said that securing the country was the main priority and came before anything else and thus the land border with neighbouring countries was closed and, on the basis of the order to close the border with Libya, it was decided to withdraw the border police from the three crossings, provide the opportunity for Algerian families to leave Libya and for Libyan families related to Algerian families to leave Algeria. President Bouteflika’s decision to close border crossing leads to another decision which turns all the border areas between Algeria and Mauritania, Mali, Niger and Libya into military zones in which travel is banned except with security permission and the border guard have restricted the movement of people and vehicles except with permission from the Defence Ministry and under humanitarian circumstances only. According to an informed source, the army command has deployed military units in areas which are close to border crossings in order to prevent infiltration, particularly from Libya. The army has established an additional 20 surveillance posts to tighten control on the southern border. The commander of the 6th Military District and officials from the Army Staff Command, air force command and security services inspected the border surveillance posts at Timiaouine and Bordj Bedji Mokhtar. According to a senior security source, the new surveillance posts facilitate the prevention of infiltration through many desert routes used by smugglers and some of the surveillance posts make it possible to survey vast areas of the desert because of their forward and elevated positions.

„The army units deployed in southernmost areas have informed nomadic bedouins that to travel in areas adjacent to the municipalities of Bordj Bedji Mokhtar, Timiaouine, In Ghizam, Tinzaouatine, Tin Trabin and Cheka they would need security permission from the local army commander, border guard or gendarmerie and anyone who breached the instruction would be questioned. According to an internal communication of the National Gendarmerie any infiltrator in the restricted areas would be given one warning and then treated as a hostile which means they would be fired on. The Army Staff Command and the command of the Border Guard have adopted a new security plan which includes banning the entry and exit of vehicles and people except through eight border crossings that link Algeria with Mali, Mauritania and Niger. The army command has decided to adopt a stern approach including opening fire on vehicles which move at night in the restricted areas…“

El-Khabar, Algeria

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