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article imageDozens killed in tribal clashes in Sabha southern Libya

By Ken Hanly     Jul 22, 2015 in Politics
Sabha - While much of Libya is divided up into areas controlled by the rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk, some parts of the south are still controlled by tribal groups who often clash with each other.
In southern Libya, the largest city of Sabha has seen fighting break out between members of the Tuareg and Tebu tribes for control of the key city. According to the city's mayor, Hamed al-Khayali, the conflict began in a suburb four days ago after a member of the Tebu tribe was killed at a checkpoint. He said that in all around 29 members of the Tuareg tribe were killed and four more wounded in the clashes. A local Tebu official said eight Tebu were killed and 18 wounded. The mayor said attempts to negotiate a truce had failed. The Tuareg are also active in northern Mali.
While Sabha is nominally under the control of the Tripoli government, military officials in Tripoli did not respond to a request for help to restore order in the city. The Tuareg control much of south-western Libya. The Tuareg were supporters of Gadaffi when he was in power and there were clashes between the two groups then, but Gadaffi was able to keep a semblance of order in the area compared to the present situation. There have been shortages of many supplies developing in the south as the two rival governments compete with each other and fight with Islamic State militants as well. Flights from Tripoli have been cancelled.
Sabha is about 700 km south of Tripoli. The Tripoli government is not recognized internationally but controls the capital and much of western Libya.
There were also clashes near the city of Derna on the coast in eastern Libya. The Islamic State has been driven out of the city by an umbrella group of rival jihadists. However the Islamic State still occupies mountainous areas near the city. A spokesperson for the military of the Tobruk government that controls most of the surrounding area said that three IS fighters had been killed in clashes with its troops.
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