Young people from Sabha, Libya, want to give back to their community

North Africa

The young people of Sabha are showing that different communities can work together for the peaceful development of Libya.

A campaign organised by young people from the city of Sabha in Libya, which is located in the southwest of the country, has seen life return to parts of the city once again.

The campaign saw dozens of young people come together to paint the city’s walls and restore and rehabilitate many surfaces that had slogans scribbled all over them. For many, helping to renovate the city’s walls is a duty, the least they could do for their city, and a further example of civil society work in the city.

Organised in conjunction with the National Organization for Youth Empowerment, this was the first of its kind enacted by these young people, and many hope to continue this work in other areas.

“This is our first campaign. We renovated the walls and shops because this is our city,” said one volunteer. “We have a second campaign to maintain some roads. All this is done in cooperation with some companies and this is the least that we, as young people, can offer to our country”.

Other volunteers used this opportunity to send a message of unity towards southern areas of the country. While painting, some of the clashes could be heard, although this did not put off the young volunteers.

“We wanted to send a message to the south and to all of Libya that we are one and are not in dispute,” said another young man. “Despite the clashes taking place in the south, we are close to them, but that does not matter”.

Sabha, which is under administrative control of the UN-backed Government of National Accord based in Tripoli, is a major transit point from neighbouring Niger and has developed a reputation in recent years for its slave auctions, which reportedly take place in the city.

Sporadic clashes occasionally occur in the city. Last week, the Libyan National Army (LNA), which rivals the UN-backed government, clashes with fighters from the Tebu ethnic group, killing at least six civilians and wounding others.