Violence Intensifies in Libya’s North-Western Towns

Violence has internsified in three towns in the north-west where growing number of casualties were recorded.

Reports say clashes erupted around the towns of Zuwara, al-Jumail and Regdalin, leaving at least 14 people dead.

Zwarans reportedly have long accused Jmail and Rigaldeen of harbouring and supporting heavily armed former regime loyalists who continue to terrorized their anti-Gaddafi town.

The Zwarans also criticized the interim authorities for failing to pursue justice as well.

The United Nations mission in Libya today expressed deep concern over the recent escalation of violence in three towns in the north-west.

A celebratory atmosphere pervades the city of Msallata, Libya, on the ninetythird anniversary of the Republic of Tripolitania, a Libyan territory which formally declared its independence during Italian colonial rule. UN Photo/Iason Foounten

The UN Support Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) urged parties involved in the fighting to immediately cease hostilities while talks continue, and welcomed efforts by authorities and local leaders to broker a ceasefire and restore calm.

“The Libyan people sacrificed their lives to secure their freedom for a new, democratic Libya for all its citizens.” – the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNSMIL Ian Martin

Mr. Martin calls on all parties to recall this sacrifice and resolve their differences without resort to the use of force.

The latest clashes around Zuwara, coming on the heels of fighting in the south, underline the need for the authorities to accelerate efforts to build strong security institutions, the UNSMIL said.

The mission noted that tensions between the two groups date back decades.

The UNSMIL stresses the need for all members of the Libyan society to recognize the need to work towards reconciliation.

Mr. Martin says security remains a major concern in Libya Security remains a major concern where events in different parts of the country had highlighted the risks associated with both the continued abundance of weapons on the streets.

Earlier this week, recent clashes between rival local militias in Libya has resulted in 50 deaths and in the wounding of 167 people.

Reports say the three-day fighting between gunmen from Sabha and fighters from the Tibu ethnic group had reached the centre of Sabha, Libya’s fourth-largest city.

Clashes between rival groups have been among the challenges facing Libya since the ousting of the regime of Muammar Al-Qadhafi in 2011 and the establishment of the interim authorities.

Earlier this year also, deadly clashes erupted between the Tabou and the Zwaya tribal brigades in the southern city of Kufra over a two-week period where about 100 people reported to have died and many others seriously injured.

Libya has been engulfed by fighting since a pro-democracy movement opposed to the regime of Muammar al-Qadhafi emerged in February following similar protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other countries across North Africa and the Middle East.

Gaddafi’s demise marks the end of a 42 year rule of a dysfunctional brutal regime that was ruled by fear, torture and executions. Its mismanagement of the economy brought ruin to Libya and impoverished the Libyan people despite the huge oil and gas wealth.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.