Sudan on Thursday closed its borders with Libya and the Central African Republic for security reasons, the first such measure taken by the new Sudanese authorities since the fall of President Omar al-Bashir in April.
“The Sovereign Council, during a meeting with the local government of South Darfur, ordered the closure of the borders with Libya and the Central African Republic because of the threat they pose to the security and economy of Sudan,” the body said in a statement.
The statement adds that vehicles had been illegally crossing the borders with the two nations, which have both been mired in violence. The council did not give further details.
The announcement followed a meeting between the council and the government of South Darfur State, part of Sudan’s western Darfur region that has suffered from violence since 2003 when a conflict erupted between mainly non-Arab tribes and the Arab-led national government of ousted President Omar Hassan al-Bashir.
Sudan has often complained about arms trafficked through its borders with Libya and Central African Republic. Conflicts in both nations have left their governments with little or no control of security over swathes of their territory.
The statement did not mention Chad, which has a long border with Sudan’s Darfur region. Chad and Sudan have security pacts in place and joint forces patrol the boundary.