September 9, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - New Libyan defence minister is visiting Khartoum since Sunday for talks on bilateral military cooperation and border security, the Sudanese defence ministry announced on Monday.
- Libyan Defence minister Abdel-Rahman Al-Thani (L) is received by his Sudanese counterpart Abdel Rahim Hussein in Khartoum on 9 September 2013 (Photo Sudan defence ministry)
Abdel Rahman Al-Thani was appointed last month following deadly attacks last June by former rebel elements in the capital Tripoli. These incidents led to relieve former defence minister Mohamed Al-Barghathi and his successor was confirmed last August by the parliament.
Libya, which is still struggling to disarm militias and gunmen, works to build a national army. The new minister who is a former professor at the Libyan military college pledged to finalize this task within six month period.
The visiting minister and his Sudanese counterpart Abdel-Rahim Hussein discussed military cooperation and the security of joint border, said a short communiqué released Monday on the website of the Sudanese defence ministry.
The statement said the two parties discussed the activation of a military protocol the two countries signed following the fall of Gaddafi’s regime.
Al-Thani also visited the military academy, the headquarters of different armies, and military complexes in the capital.
The two countries agreed last year to form a joint force to monitor the border between the two countries and to coordinate with the Chadian Sudanese force.
Sudan also pledged to support the formation of a Libyan regular army.
Following the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, the Libyan government hosted on March 2012 a border security conference that brought together ministers and military officials from Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Sudan and Tunisia.
The meeting agreed to strengthen joint border patrols to clamp down on arms trafficking and transnational crime. It also adopted a plan to hold training courses on border security and advanced technologies to better control it.