Información actualizada sobre el visado de entrada a Libia y algunos elementos relacionados.
(1.1): Tourist Visa:
The tourist visa is still suspended. Some Libyan companies are “talking” about the likelihood of the tourist visa being reinstated very soon, and although there is no official confirmation of the rumours, the Libyan minister of tourism, Ikram Imam, had revealed on the 5th of January 2013 that there will be an “adjustment” and a “simplification” of the visa and tourist procedures . Let us all hope that the saga of the “Libya Visa” is simplified and adjusted to stay that way for good this time.
Upon her return to the capital, she further held a meeting with the departments of the tourism ministry from across Libya, on Monday the 7th of January 2013, to explore the means for them to commence implementing the “work plan”, or the “strategy”, proposed by the Tourism Ministry to the GNC.
The strategy apparently includes creating a “distinctive” tourist identity to put Libya on the map of international tourism, and to provide quality service according to the values and traditions of Libya . According to Solidarity Press , there are 23 offices in Libya which are currently implementing the programs of the tourism ministry.
(1.2): Business Visa:
The expensive business visa is still available for those wishing to do business in Libya. However, it was reported that the number of business visas processed by the immigration authorities in Tripoli shortly after the suspension of tourist and transit visas shot up to 200 business visas per day. As a result the authorities have introduced strict procedures to process the business visa on arrival. By the end of 2012 it became apparent that the one-month business visa on arrival has been suspended, and now it is available only via Libyan embassies.
(1.3): Fake Visas:
History is abundant with examples of products and services banned by the law only to proliferate underground, where corruption, greed and absence of law empowers the emerging warlords. The member of Benghazi’s Local Council, Tareq Bouzriba, told Solidarity Press that the problem starts at the Libyan embassies, especially those in Egypt, Tunisia and Chad. By refusing the visa application the embassies force workers to pay 6,000 pounds for the visa elsewhere, instead of the 50 Egyptian pounds they need to pay the embassy .
The illegal network appears to involve flying out blank visas from Libya to be sold where others are ready to pay. In one of the recent incidents the Egyptian authorities arrested a Libyan passenger at Cairo Airport after arriving with 492 blank visas . Another group, reported on the 26th of December 2012 to have been arrested by the Supreme Security Committee (SSC), appears to have made a copy of the official “plate seal” and also copies of the stamps used to approve Libyan visa approvals . On the 24th of October 2012 three Libyans were arrested with 684 fake passports in Bangladesh . Three African women were arrested in Tripoli on the 3rd of January 2013 for possessing a fake Ministry of Health “stamp”, used to issue forged “health certificates”, required by immigrants in order to enter Libya . And on the 8th of January 2013, LANA reported that an armed group attacked the “Work & Training Bureau” in Ejmeil and stole the official stamp of the bureau, after intimidating staff .
2: Land Borders:
The land borders of Libya have been hit with “frequent closures” and the occasional “trouble” ever since liberation day. Each “closure” seems to have a different reason including transporting vehicles across both borders without any documentation; transportation of humans without ID’s or passports; clashes over personal and social matters; and trafficking in alcohol, narcotics, petrol and weapons as well as in outdated and poisoned food. In conclusion, it is impossible to predict what will happen next, or when the borders will re-turn to their pre-war state.
(2.1): Western Borders: Ras Ejdir:
The Ras Ejdir border has been through quite a number of closures in the past 14 months, the last of which has ended on the 10th of December 2012, when the border was reopened once more. The border was closed again on the 13th of December 2012, only to be partially re-opened on the 15th of December 2012. After his meeting with the Tunisian Prime Minister, Hamadi Jebali, on Monday the 7th of January 2013, the Libyan Prime Minister Dr. Ali Zidan had ordered the border to be fully re-opened. The earlier partial closure was applicable only to lorry and truck drivers. However, according to Radio Tataouine , violence continues in Bengerdan – a Tunisian village close to the Libyan border, for the third day running, and that the border is still closed as of the 8th of January 2013 despite the aforementioned decision to re-open the border by the Libyan PM.
(2.2): Eastern Borders: Musaid:
The situation at the other end of the coastal highway is not much different. On the 17th of December 2012 the Egyptian government closed its border with Libya after a confrontation between locals and Egyptian police. Seven people were injured in this latest incident. The reason, apparently, is the same as the reason causing the trouble at Ras Ejdir border with Tunisia, namely the refusal to pay the custom duties required from cross-border traders. The traders were reported to have attacked the Egyptian police with stones, leading to the latter retaliating with tear gas . Attacks on Libyan drivers inside the Egyptian border were also reported a number of times. The Libyan border point itself came under attack several times including being shot-at by “arms” criminals and “human” traffickers.
(2.3): Southern Borders: Fezzan:
The transitional government had declared south Libya a “military zone” and temporarily closed its borders with Sudan, Niger, Chad and Algeria. By the 19th of December 2012, Libyan Air Force was already combing the border areas, ready to execute the order given by the Prime Minister’s government to “blast” outlaws.
Still without a constitution and without an elected president, an effective army or a police force, the situation remains “fluid” and “unpredictable”. It has now been more than fourteen months since the presumed liberation of Libya and yet there is no sign of law or order taking place; just a glimpse of the promised prosperity and the illusive peace.
Just the usual “leaders” and the “people” blaming each other for their mistakes, and for the inflicted chaos, violence, and corruption, flourishing before their eyes while suspended in a state which the Libyans call الإنفلات الأمنى (‘total-failure & collapse of security’).
No doubt, progress was (being) made, but the slightly improved security in Tripoli, the seat of all ‘decisions’ and power, has witnessed an increase in violence in Cyrenaica — the region seemingly being punished for attempting to share power with the capital; while Fezzan has been declared a “military zone” by the leaders of “liberated” Tripoli in December 2012, when at last the transitional prime minister gave the stark warning to “blast” outlaws taking advantage of Libya’s tragedy along the southern borders .
One would presume the ‘spring’ to flourish with flowers and fruits and exhume a sense of liberty and freedom; but so far even the ‘fall’ is far from the truth.
To read the full Libyan visa update 12, please see http://www.temehu.com/news-Libya.htm