Conflict and Fragility


The position of the Tebu vis-à-vis potential elections in Libya

11 Sep 2018 - 13:01
Source: Christina Nöbauer/Wikimedia Commons
Divided we stand - the position of the Tebu vis-à-vis potential elections in Libya

This article is part of the report 'The Libyan maze- The path to elections and the future of the reconciliation process', published by the Centro Studi Internazionali (CeSI). (pp. 20 - 22).

Since August 26, Tripoli has witnessed violent clashes between rival militias until UN brokered a fragile ceasefire on September 4. The dynamics and root causes of these clashes effectively sum up the main vulnerabilities of the Libyan reconciliation process. In fact, the struggle for control of the capital is not just a local contest, nor it is related only to dynamics inherent to a single region such as Tripolitania. On the contrary, it is rooted in different levels of the multi-layered Libyan conflict. Since 2014, when the institutional split between Tripoli and Tobruk emerged, and consequently two broad armed coalitions materialized (Libya Dawn in the west and General Haftar’s Libyan National Army in Cyrenaica), this conflict has played both on the military and the internal political level, and it has incessantly involved other regional and international players.

In their contribution authors Floor El Kamouni-Janssen, Fransje Molenaar and Al-Hamzeh Al-Shadeedi argue that Libya's south has been the stage of waves of violence since 2011 due to the tense relationships between its main tribes - the Tebu, Tuareg and Awlad Suleiman - and the inability of the Libyan state to control this part of the country and provide security and services. Armed conflict about oil resources, strategic sites, and smuggling routes has been compounded by the influx of militant groups from Niger and Chad. 

In recent years, initiatives to end armed conflict were successful in bringing peace to the Tebu and the Tuareg, but they failed in achieving the same outcome between the Tebu and the Awlad Sulaiman.