Middle East

Libya tribal clashes kill two: mediator

Supporters of Operation Dawn, a group of forces mainly from Misrata, demonstrate against and call for the removal of the new Libyan parliament based in the eastern city of Tobruk, the House of Representatives, at Martyrs' Square in Tripoli September 19, 2014. The sign reads, "Friday Overthrow Parliament". REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

TRIPOLI: Clashes between two of the largest tribes in southern Libya killed at least two people on Sunday, a tribal leader told AFP.

"Violent clashes are under way in Sabha between the Awlad Suleiman tribe and the Gaddadfa" tribe of dictator Moamer Kadhafi who was toppled and killed in 2011, Sheikh Mohammed Issa al-Mubasher said.

He heads Libya's Council of Dignitaries which represents the North African country's powerful tribes and mediates in disputes.

Mubasher said at least two people were killed and more wounded as fighting erupted after the death of a young member of the Gaddadfa tribe, which accused the Awlad Suleiman of killing him.

"We are trying to intervene and convince both parties to stop fighting," he said.

The Gaddadfa have been keeping a low profile since the downfall of their most famous son three years ago.

Libya sees regular outbreaks of tribal violence because of historical rivalries and struggles for influence.

The divided and weak central authorities are generally incapable of dealing with such outbreaks, instead leaving them to local mediators to resolve.

Clashes in Sabha in 2012 between the Awlad Suleiman and Toubou tribes resulted in more than 150 people being killed.

Oil-rich Libya has also been rocked by political instability since the NATO-backed uprising against Kadhafi.

Two separate governments and two associated parliaments are now vying for power.

 

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