By Jamal Adel.
Kufra, 21 November 2014:
Most civilians in Obari have now left the south-western oasis town to avoid the ongoing clashes . . .[restrict]between Tuaregs and Tebus, it is reported.
“The Tuaregs have mainly gone to Ghat and the Tebus to Murzuk,” the Libya Herald was told by an official. The only people remaining other than the combatants, he said, were the Ahali – black Arabs who had nowhere else to go.
There had been hopes of sign a peace deal between Tebus and Tuaregs two days ago, but it came to nothing when fighting, which initially started on 17 September, flared up once again.
“The peace deal has collapsed in Obari, with weapons again sounding out,” a Tebu elder from Murzuk, Yusif Omar, told this newspaper yesterday.
Initially, the clashes were between a Tuareg militia supporting Libya Dawn that arrived in the town and local Tebu security forces. Local Tuaregs, who are in the majority in Obari, were not involved. Both they and the Tebus supported the House of Representatives and, in the Tebus’ case, very firmly Khalifa Hafter’s Operation Dignity.
At the beginning of October, both the Tebus and Tuargs agreed to a ceasefire following mediation by elders from neighbouring towns and from Zintan and a joint force was created to maintain law and order in the town.
However, it came to nothing and heavy clashes again broke up on 18 October, again between the Tebus and the outside Tuareg force.
The HoR president, Ageela Saleh Gwaider, met with Tuaregs elders at the Sharara oilfield on 30 October, and the Tebus at the El Fil (Elephant) on & November in a bid to calm tensions. Again this failed to translate into a lasting peace.
On 11 November, a gathering of southern tribes and towns succeeded in convincing the Tebus and Tuaregs to broker a ceasefire deal – the one that was supposed to be signed the day before yesterday.
There are claims that the Tuaregs are divided between those who support Libya Dawn and those, like the Tuaregs of Obari, who recognise the HoR.
However, a prominent Tuareg figure told this newspaper that his community had felt betrayed by the HoR because it was taking the Tebus’ side, and they were not supporting it any more.
For the time being, sporadic shooting can be heard in the town. [/restrict]