By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 18 January 2014:
Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has called on all revolutionary forces to rally to the south saying . . .[restrict]that Tamenhint airbase 30 kilometres east of Sebha has been seized by pro-Qaddafi troops as clashes in the southern city destabilise the wider region.
The Prime Minister said he had asked Defence Minister, Abdullah Al-Thinni, to travel to Misrata to coordinate with the city’s military council and Libya Shield Brigades to marshall their forces in an effort to restore security to the south. He called on revolutionaries from all walks of Libya to travel to the south to protect the revolution by all means available.
Saleh Al-Shaikhi, spokesman for Chief of Staff of the Military told the Libya Herald that the Libyan Air Force is now planning sorties over Sebha and surrounding areas to restore order.
This morning, Sebha’s Military commander issued orders instructing all military personnel within the area to report for duty as unconfirmed reports surfaced that troops from Zintan are already on their way to Sebha to quell fighting there.
Reports form Sebha have confirmed that pro-Qaddafi forces seized control of Tamenhenta airbase late last night. Ayoub Al-Zaroug, head of Sebha Local Council, told this newspaper that the base had been taken by Qaddafi supporters coming from a number of towns and villages across southern regions.
Mohammed Al-Mubasher, who is part of the Zintani delegation which arrived in Sebha to broker a ceasefire there on Wednesday, said that the forces at Tamenhint had used the current security vacuum in the region to advance their goals.
Clashes broke out in Sebha last night as an uneasy truce that had held since Wednesday between Tebu tribesmen and Awlad Suleiman members collapsed. Dr Ibrahim Zway, director of Sebha Medical Centre said this morning that two people had been killed and two others injured as a result of renewed violence in the city.
The government has said it will continue to monitor developments in Sebha with an emergency sitting of Congress planned for this evening to discuss the security situation in the south. [/restrict]