By Libya Herald reporters.
Beida/Ghat, 27 July 2015:
Despite reports of a ceasefire agreed yesterday in Kufra between Zwai and Tebu fighters, with . . .[restrict]a promise to hand over prisoners, there has again been heavy fighting in the town today, for the third day in succession.
Continued intermittent clashes between the two communities re-erupted into full-scale violence on Friday since when at least 14 people have been killed and two dozen wounded.
“Nine Zwai members and five Tebu people have been killed and the number of casualties is over 25, from both communities” Salah Al-Sanussi, a Tebu elder living in Kufra, told the Libya Herald today.
“Mortar and heavy artillery fire is being exchanged and there is absolutely no safe place left,” he said.
Most of the current fighting is around the Tebu district of Gadarfai, which separates the two Zwai areas of Bu-Shoug and Al-Harah, as well as at the Al-Khadrah roundabout in the south of the town.
Tebu fighters are also reported to have fired mortars at the Kufra airport, located at Zwai area of the town, forcing its closure.
A week ago, when five people, including two Bangladeshi workers, were killed in a Zwai-Tebu shootout, the town’s National Security Directorate spokesman, warned of rising tension between the two communities. Lieutenant Mohammed Khalil said that the main streets of the town were closed because of sniper activities by both sides and that the Directorate did not have the power to put a stop to the clashes.
Zwai and Tebu elders and other local leaders were trying their best to contain the situation, he said, but it was deteriorating fast.
A new military governor in Kufra, Al-Mabrouk Al-Guzwey, was recently appointed by the General Staff and, according to Libyan army sources, has called on the former acting interior ministry Ahmed Barka, himself a Tebu from Murzuk, to help mediate a ceasefire.
Two months ago, a truce was signed by both sides following mediation by the Magharba tribe but has gone the way of all the other truces.
Meanwhile life is made even worse as a result of electricity being cut in most of the town. Water supplies have also been disrupted as a result. In the situation, tempers are short and resentment between the adversaries is fuelled.