Niger’s Ambassador to Libya, Hussein Melloul, on Tuesday denied presence of any Nigerien opposition fighters on Libyan territory.
The ambassador made his remarks during a meeting with Abdurrahman Swehli, the Head of the Libyan Higher Council of State, in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
They discussed the bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest, including the security situation on the Libya-Niger border and illegal immigration, according to the media office of the council.
“The ambassador of Niger denied presence of any armed opposition groups of his country on Libyan soil, stressing Niger’s respect for the sovereignty and independence of Libya.
“Its full support to the Libyan authorities to restore security and stability in the country,’’the office said in a statement.
Swehli highlighted the necessity of enhancing the joint cooperation on security and illegal immigration.
The air force of the Libyan eastern-based army has been targeting a number of African armed groups in southern Libya, after the army’s deadline for African migrants to leave.
The city of Sabha, located some 800 km southwest of Libyan capital Tripoli, has recently been witnessing violent clashes between rival tribes that killed and injured dozens of civilians and forced hundreds of families to flee their homes.
People from Chadians, Nigeriens and Sudanese have been accused of involvement in the conflicts in Sabha.
Hamed Al-Khiali, the Head of the Municipal Council of Sabha, said in February that the local airport was occupied by “an armed group that has nothing to do with Libya,’’ carrying flags of other African countries.
Recently in Tripoli, the UN-backed government announced measures to support its forces in Sabha to fight the so-called “mercenaries.”
NAN reports that on March 9, Libya’s eastern-based army set a March 17 deadline for nationals from Chad, Niger and Sudan to leave southern Libya in order to curb the erupting violence there, warning else they would be removed by force.
A statement issued by the army led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar threatened to remove nationals from Chad, Niger and Sudan by force using all possible means, both land and air.”