Conflict

Indiscriminate shelling in Sabha, Libya, has exacerbated the suffering of the displaced

North Africa

Clashes between the Tubu tribe and forces belonging to the GNA-affiliated Awlad Suleiman continue in the city of Sabha in Libya.

The city of Sabha, in the south-west of Libya, has been a source of tension between various groups vying for power in the region since the very onset of the civil war in the country. Clashes between combatting groups are continuing up until today and are causing the displacement of thousands of people from Sabha to other parts of Libya and beyond.

The recent bout of indiscriminate shelling has led to the displacement of over 3,000 people, according to the Red Crescent active in Sabha. In addition, infrastructure in the city has been heavily damaged as a result. A number of vital facilities, including clinics and medical centres, have also been destroyed.

The skirmishes in Sabha have been taking place mainly between forces from the Tubu tribe and those from Awlad Suleiman (Sons of Solomon), who are associated with the UN-backed Government of National Accord, which currently has control over Sabha city.

The Tubu tribe and Awlad Suleiman have had a history of antagonistic relations. The Tubu people have been faced with extreme discrimination both under Gadhafi rule and after his death. They created the Tubu Front for the Salvation of Libya in 2007 to defend their rights and interests. On the other hand, Awlad Suleiman are affiliated with the Government of National Accord (GNA), which is based in Tripoli.

The leader of the GNA, Fayez al-Sarraj, sent a delegation to Sabha in order to calm tensions between the two sides. Nevertheless, there are claims that external influences are having a negative effect on reconciliation efforts, especially due to interference by the “Karama militia”.

Despite the military clashes, there have been efforts to bring communities closer together. Volunteers have been bringing young people together to redecorate the afflicted city together. Furthermore, some residents have brought it upon themselves to open up a hospital to serve the city of Sabha.

Image: Al Jazeera