Libya said a Sudanese military transport plane bound for a Tripoli airport under control of an armed faction had entered its airspace to supply a “terrorist group” with ammunition, a government statement said on Saturday.

Sudan confirmed it had sent a military plane but said it had only carried equipment for a joint Libyan-Sudanese state border force.

Libya is in turmoil three years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi as armed groups, partly linked to Islamists, have seized the capital Tripoli and set up an alternative parliament and government.

“This work from the Sudanese state violates (the sovereignty) of the State of Libya and interferes with its affairs,” the Libyan statement said, adding that Libya had asked the Sudanese military attache to leave the country.

“Sudan is interfering by supporting a terrorist group,” it added.

Libya said the Sudanese plane had been bound for Tripoli-Matiga airport and made a refuelling stop in the Libyan desert oasis Kufra near the border to Sudan. Ammunition had been found loaded on that plane during an inspection at Kufra airport, it added, without saying whether the plane was still in Kufra.

Matiga is a military airport now used mainly for commercial flights after Tripoli’s main international airport was damaged by fighting between rival armed groups. Matiga is under control of an alliance of factions challenging the government which has relocated to Tobruk in the far east to escape the violence.

“We, the Libyan government, firmly denounce that a Sudanese military plane has penetrated the Libyan airspace without an official permit from the Libyan government. The plane was carrying ammunition which had not been officially approved by the Libyan government,” the statement said.


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