By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 10 April 2014:
The Misratan-led Third Force has taken control of Sebha’s military barracks and airport, which had been . . .[restrict]seized by the Alwad Suleiman after being vacated by Zintani forces. The force has also taken over another other strategic positions held by the tribe or by Tebu militiamen .
Spokesman for the Misratan-led force Ala Al-Huwaik told the Libya Herald that the move had been possible due a reconciliation agreement signed only by rival Tebu and Awlad Suleiman factions but all groups which had been affected by the the clashes in the southern town that broke out in January.
“The agreement was brokered though the efforts of Labour Minister Mohammed Sualim, the head of the government office in Sebha, Mustafa Kunono, the Minister for Awkaf and Islamic Affairs and Tarek Shekaan, the Ministry of Defence’s Sebha head, as well as a number of Sebha elders,” he said.
Misratan forces entered Sebha in late January after tribal and ethic tensions boiled over, destabilising the surrounding region and allowing Qaddafi supporters to gain a foothold at nearby Taminhent airbase.
Huwaik said that the airport had first been taken by Zintani forces in late January when they arrived in Sebha alongside the Third Force to put an end to the worst of the town’s fighting. It was, however, regained by Awlad Suleiman forces when the Zintanis withdrew. Huwaik said there were now hopes that flights out of Sebha would resume shortly.
“We know that this problem cannot be solved unless residents offer their full cooperation,” he said. “This agreement obligates all combatants to cease fire,” he added. [/restrict]