Southern Libya’s Tabu tribe came to an agreement with a Sabha militia early today, announcing that the days of fighting sparked by the killing of a Sabha militia member by a Tabu fighter in a dispute over a car (ironically on the way to another truce talk) had come to an end.
This lasted between an estimated two and three hours before the fighting jumped off yet again. The fighting in the afternoon and evening was every bit as fierce as it has been in recent days, and by the end of the day a Libyan government spokesman put the toll at more than 70 dead and over 150 wounded.
Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) initially sent 300 troops to calm the unrest. When they were chased out of the city another 300 were sent. Now, NTC officials say some 1,500 troops are in Sabha, and 1,500 more en route, and the fighting is still ongoing.
The Tabu are fighting not just in Sabha, but also in the oasis of Kufra, where they are fighting a rival tribe over smuggling claims. Tabu chief Abdel Majid Mansour yesterday threatened to launch a full scale secessionist bid, claiming that the NTC is trying to “ethnically cleanse” them.