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Uneasy peace holds in Sebha

A tentative peace has held in Sebha for three weeks following clashes between the southern town’s Qaddadfa and Awlad Suleiman tribes.

The four days of violence in Sebha resulted in tens of deaths and casualties. The clashes were usually characterised by close-quarters small arms fighting in residential areas but also by the use of mortars and anti-aircraft guns.

The battles finally subsided following a series of mediations carried out by negotiators from Misrata’s Shoura Council and a delegation comprised of Qaddadfa tribal elders from Sirte and Awlad Suleiman leaders from the the nearby village of Hirawa.

“The series of mediations were successful and put and an end to clashes in the town; there were many lives lost and great destruction to property,” the head of Sebha Local Council, Diwan Al-Muhasaba, told the Libya Herald.

Despite media reports to the contrary, the most recent round of fighting was not as fierce as clashes seen in January 2014 between the Awlad Suleiman and the minority Tebus in Sebha and the surrounding area. The violence resulted in over one hundred deaths before a Misratan-led third force from Libya Shield and negotiators from Zintan’s military council intervened and brokered a peace deal.

The Qaddadfa tribe, from which Muammar Qaddafi hailed, has retained control of the neighbourhoods of Al-Manshiya and Hay Al-Grad, which was named for the number of rockets that fell on it during the liberation war. Awlad Suleiman has held on to the balance of power in Sebha, taking control of its administrative buildings.

The Qaddadfa and Awlad Suleiman tribes had been strong allies under the Qaddafi regime but Awlad Suleiman backed the rebels in 2011, confiscating the possessions of Qaddadfa supporters and torching their homes.

Both tribes originate from towns in the north of the country. The Qaddadfa come from the coastal town of Sirte, Awlad Sulieman from Hirawa.

Both tribes migrated to southern Libya, Niger and Chad at the time of Italian colonisation.

Libya Herald

This article was originally published here.

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