Former Libyan Leader, Muamma Gaddafi
(Bloomberg) Clashes between two Libyan tribes in the south of the country have left 147 people dead in the past week, the health minister said, highlighting the security challenges confronting the interim government.
Another 395 people were wounded in fighting between the al- Tibu tribe and another group in Sebha, the country’s fourth largest city, Health Minister Fatma al-Hamroush said in a press conference in Tripoli aired on state television late yesterday.
The National Transitional Council, the interim government running the country following the toppling and killing of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, moved more than 1,500 soldiers into the town to try to end the fighting that erupted after members of al-Tibu reportedly kidnapped a member of another group.
According to Bloomberg report, the official Libya News Agency cited the country’s military chief of staff as saying that the security situation was stable.
A “military governor” has been appointed for Libya’s southern region after a reconciliation agreement was reached and resulted in a cease-fire, the agency said, citing NTC head Mustafa Abdel Jalil. It called the region a “military area.” The prime minister and other officials including the defense minister were at Sebha to stay abreast of developments there, the agency said.
The violence is the latest in Libya, home to Africa’s largest proven reserves of crude, as the NTC tries to stabilize the country. The militias that led the fight during the uprising against Qaddafi are resisting efforts to disband and hand over their weapons, demanding more benefits for their various regions from the Tripoli government.
During a meeting with the citizens of Sebha today, Libyan Prime Minister Abdurrahim el-Keib said his country “will not allow anyone to intervene in its internal affairs,” the agency reported. Libyan authorities are following the movements of Qaddafi regime “remnants” residing abroad and warned them against attempts to destabilize the country, the agency cited him as saying.
“Our presence here affirms that the south is an intrinsic part of this country and of its stability,” he said, according to the news agency.