Fezzan region (deep south)
Colonel Wanis Boukh made, military governor of Libya’s southern military zone, said in an interview with the daily Qurnina Al Jadida on 17 July that Sabha, Murzuq, Shatti, Huwari, and Ghat are “under control”, but said “this is not enough.” The colonel claimed to have been the victim of a number of assassination attempts by unknown parties.
There was no immediate sequel to the violent tribal clashes on 9 July in the desert town of Sebha(which left one National Army soldier dead and seven wounded). On 13 July there was a major prison break in Sebha involving 34 prisoners of the Sebha Reform and Rehabilitation Institute. Colonel Najat Shoshan of the Judicial Police confirmed the escape occurred at 9 pm on 13 July and blamed poor coordination between the Judicial Police and the National Army.
On 19 July Fathi Suliman, a High Security Committee member in the oasis city of Kufrah, was kidnapped and later found murdered. Local Zwai tribesmen have blamed the Tabu (rival tribes of Chadian rather than Arab descent), and claim that Suliman was murdered in Kufrah’s Al-Shouri neighborhood, which is considered a no-go zone for Zwai Arabs. On the same day there was renewed fighting between Zwai and Tabu tribesmen in Al-Sentar, south of Kufrah, with two Tabus killed and fifteen others wounded. The clashes reportedly began after an unknown vehicle opened fire on Tabu tribesmen in Al-Sentar. Colonel Wanis Boukhmade, military governor ofLibya’s southern military zone, told media that the manner in which the conflict in Kufrah has been approached has been a failure. Boukh made mentioned the Shield of Libya’s numerous problems with the Tabu tribe, hinting that it may have failed to act as a neutral arbiter. (The Zwai dominate the local chapter of the quasi-governmental Shield of Libya forces). He blamed the transitional government for failing to address, at least in the beginning, “foreign intervention, especially from Chad”, which could have been done “by establishing an investigatory commission”.
The issue of Libya’s southern borders was a recurrent theme in media reporting and official statements during the last week. Colonel Wanis Boukh made noted on 17 July that “the borders are open” and described illegal immigration as “more dangerous than the spread of weapons”. Elsewhere numerous media reports focused on the announcement of an Islamic state in Azawad, northernMali, by jihadist groups flush with Libyan weapons. Libyan officials (and the local militias controlling the southern towns and road systems) seem more focused on the influx of non-Arabs from Chad, Sudan and pan-Sahel countries.
(Source: Gary Sandiford of Olive Group)