Southern Libya militias reach new agreement to end fighting
TRIPOLI: Rival militias in the southern Libyan city of Sabha have reached an agreement to end clashes that killed more than 50 people, marking a fresh attempt by the government to impose order nationwide months after the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi.
Representatives from the militias had agreed to a cease-fire on Wednesday but some clashes resumed hours later. Trouble erupted on Sunday when the groups - one comprising fighters from Sabha, the other from the Tibu ethnic group - fell out in a minor dispute over a car, locals there had said.
|This replaces the old agreement to end clashes, which lasted about a day...|
A delegation of officials from various government ministries traveled to Sabha to try to reach an agreement between both sides.
"Yer mudder's mustache!"
"The conflict parties have reached an agreement and it will be signed in the next few hours," Mohammed Al-Harizy, spokesman for the NTC, told a news conference, adding the violence had begun from a dispute over payment for former rebel fighters.
Reading out a statement, Harizy said both sides had agreed the Libyan army would take control of entry points into Sabha including the airport, scene of some of the fighting. He said the agreement also called for Tibu fighters from outside Sabha to leave the city, adding that a separate NTC delegation was on its way to Sabha.
Government spokesman Nasser Al-Manee said on Wednesday that 3,000 soldiers and border guards had been sent to the area.
In Sabha, the scene was much quieter, Sabha fighter Oweidat Al-Hifnawi said. "There was an agreement and there is no more fighting," he said by phone.
Posted by: Steve White