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Tribal rivalries threaten Libya's fragile peace

Tribal rivalries threaten Libya's fragile peace
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Frustration with the lack of progress after the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi brought tens of thousands of protesters out in central Benghazi.

In the city where the revolution started, ordinary Libyans are impatient for improvements.

They want security and jobs.

One protester said he wanted to send a message to NTC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil: “Please leave us,” he said. “If you are not able to help us, please give the chance to any other person to be president to meet our demands.”

Factional fighting between armed tribes is not helping. In Zintan an outbreak of violence which killed at least four people was stopped only after local elders agreed a ceasefire.

The National Transitional Council has proposed plans to help people to lay down their arms but so far they seem unable to exert any control over the militias. It means there are real fears that ancient tribal tensions could reappear and drag the country into civil war.