Libya’s prime minister has visited a desert oasis city in the south to try to patch up a tribal dispute that has claimed about 150 lives in the past week.
Clashes between rival groups in Sabha highlight how fragile the government’s grip on the country is, over six months after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. However soldiers sent by the army did help bring about a ceasefire.
Addressing about 500 local people, Prime Minister Abdurrahim El-Keib said: “The assault on the lives and properties of citizens, regardless of their ethnic or regional origin, is a violation of the law and the government will not tolerate these violations.”
Sabha militias clashed with the Tibu ethnic group, some of whom have ties to neighbouring Chad. They are viewed as outsiders by many Arab Libyans.
Restoring order in the city is not only important for Libya but also for stability in the wider region.
Women and children took to the streets of Sabha, to call for a long-term end to the violence.