21 – 27 Feb: Fighting continues in Sebha and clashes breakout near Tripoli

Feb 27, 2018 | Libyan actors

On 26 February , Libya’s National Human Rights Commission confirmed that two civilians have been killed, while another was injured, in clashes between Awlad Suliman’s 6th Brigade and Tebu militias in Sabha. The groups are said to be clashing after the Italian peace agreement between the two groups unravelled due to non-payment of the reparations agreed in Rome last year. Clashes began in early February between the two groups, with reports of several civilians, including a young girl killed by a sniper, amongst the casualties. Despite tribal mediation efforts and a Cyrenaican peace delegation with the backing of the House of Representatives (HoR), the fighting is set to continue. The Awlad Suliman is an Arab tribe while the Tebu area traditionally nomadic non-Arab tribe, with members spread across southern Libya, Niger, and Chad. Both have a presence in Sabha, along with the Tuareg, an Amazigh (Berber) tribe.

Additionally, there are conflicting reports over the leadership and allegiance of the 6th Brigade. On 20 February, the Libyan National Army (LNA) declared the 6th Brigade as a part of its forces and assigned Brigadier Ahmed Mohammed Salim al-Ataibi as chief commander as well as creating three additional units: 205 tank brigade, 311 artillery brigade and 138 infantry brigade. However, on the same day a statement by the 6th Brigade refuted the LNA claim and said they were under the Ministry of Defence of the GNA. To further complicate matters, on 24 February the LNA assigned Brigadier General Khalifa Abdulhafith Khalifa to replace al-Ataibi as commander of the 6th Brigade

On 21 February, Bouhmaira Jaweda, a prominent militia leader from Warshefana, was killed in an arrest operation by Tripoli’s GNA aligned Special Deterrent Forces (Rada) in the al-Maya district west of Tripoli. In response to his death, Jaweda supporters attacked GNA affiliated forces in the area and the Janzour Knights militia closed the coastal highway near Bridge 27 east of Zawiyya.