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Sebha’s tribal clashes resume after brief lull

Clashes re-ignite in Sebha last Friday between rivals from the Awlad Sulieman tribe and the Tebus following two weeks of relative calm successfully negotiated by Fezzan’s Supreme Council of Tribes and towns on 10 April.

Tank missiles fired on Friday by Tebus hit the water tank at the Thanawiya neighbourhood held by Awlad Sulieman with Tebus claiming it is being used as a location for snipers. Tebus also claim that Sebha’s castle that reportedly has been repeatedly hit by them, is also frequently used by Awlad Sulieman snipers.

Following the Thanawiya water reserviour hit, random shells and mortars reportedly fell on residential areas leaving a number of civilian casualties, with clashes taking place in and around Nassiriya, Gortha and the Thanawiya neighbourhood.

On Saturday two were reported wounded and 1 killed in clashes according to Sebha Medical Centre SMC with other unconfirmed reports saying that over 10 civilians were injured including two African nationals.

Yesterday, fighting was reported to have intensified with tanks being used in the middle of residential areas which had becoming frontlines for the fighting. Reports say that this is putting the life of civilians at risk of random shells and has caused damage to both public and private property.

On the positive side, Fezzan’s Supreme Council of Tribes and towns had succeeded in its efforts to the unblock the Gortha agriculture road which was blocked by Tebus. This has allowed fuel and food supplies to go through to southern towns and villages that had been hit-hard by severe shortages in basic necessities.

Earlier this month a tripartite meeting in Niger’s capital Niamey which had gathered Tebus, Awlad Sulieman and Tuaregs to further discuss the situations in the south and pushed to crystalize a ceasefire and some sort of stability in the south from 8 to 12 April.

On another note, on 10 April the Sebha Mayor Hamid Al Khayali met with the US Deputy Chief of the Mission Natalie Baker in Tunis to discuss how the United States may partner with the municipal government to overcome socio-economic challenges in southern Libya.

Meanwhile, there has been a spree of kidnappings, unprovoked shootings and carjackings in Sebha. On Saturday, an RPG hit a car near the ‘‘24 Silk’’ shops, and on Monday the Sciences College was stormed by unknown armed men injuring two people who were transferred to Sebha Medical Centre. Three students have also been reported missing, presumed kidnapped.

Today, Brega Petroleum Marketing Company announced that some 3 million litres of fuel had arrived at the Sebha fuel compound, amid an ongoing row over illicit fuel sales on the black market. Sebha’s woes have also been added to with the environmental problem following the flooding of the sewage treatment plant at the Mahdiya neighbourhood.

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