By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 22 January 2014:
Fighting in and around Sebha has calmed down as reconciliation talks in the town gather momentum.
Sebha . . .[restrict]Local Council head Ayoub Al-Zaroug said that, since last night, the situation had become much calmer, although sporadic gunfire and explosions could still be heard on the outskirts of the town.
Military Commander for Sebha Mohammed Alayat Al-busefi confirmed that, although the situation had not ended, fighting had calmed down. “The problem is now with Qaddafi loyalists, some of whom remain in the surrounding area, including at the Tamenhint airbase,” he told the Libya Herald.
Reconciliation talks are gathering momentum, according to the head of Murzak’s Tebu elders Alhuza Yousef, with Justice Minister Salah Bashir Al-Marghani, Labour Minister Mohamed Fitouri Sualim and Head of Intelligence, Salem Al-Hassi, still in Sebha now. They have been working with a Zintani reconciliation committee headed by Mohammed Imbisher to try and establish peace, said Yousef.
“We have agreed to a reconciliation on three terms,” he said. Establishing exactly who the Tebu were fighting, supported by a government statement, was the first condition, he said. The second condition was for the government to ensure that military compounds and the old castle were cleansed of armed groups from the Awlad Suliman tribe. The final condition, Yousef said, was for the town’s historic castle to then be handed over to the Ministry of Tourism.
If these conditions were met, he said, the Tebu were prepared to negotiate. The government, working with the committees, has apparently asked for five days to consider these demands.
Another reconciliation committee from the east of the country is expected to arrive in Sebha today. [/restrict]