At least 50 people have been killed and more than 100 were wounded on Tuesday in the third day of clashes between armed tribes in the country’s southern city of Sabha, Libya's fourth largest city in the south.
The ongoing armed clashes there between the Awlad-Suleiman and Toubou Tribes erupted on Monday night after a member of the tribes was killed.
The fighting initially started around the airport on the outskirts of the city, but then spread into the center, reported a local fighter. Clashes have erupted after the attempted theft of a car belonging to a militia of Sebha by Toubou fighters, said Mousa al-Koni, representing Toubous within the Transitional National Council (TNC).
An official with the interim government announced Monday the sending to the region of 300 soldiers in an attempt to restore calm. Additional 300 soldiers left Tripoli on Tuesday in a bid to calm the situation.
Yesterday, head of Toubou Abdelmajid Issa Mansour, denounced a plan of "ethnic cleansing" against his tribe, waving for the first time the separatist threat. "We are announcing the reactivation of the Toubou Front for the salvation of Libya to protect the Toubou against ethnic cleansing, and if necessary, we will ask for international intervention and work for a state like South Sudan," he declared.
Abdelmajid Issa Mansour, a former opponent of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, had announced the dissolution of his movement after the fall of the old regime in August. The dark-skinned Toubou tribe is living astride Libya, North Chad and Niger, and had repeatedly refuted separatist aspirations.
In February, deadly clashes between the Zawya and Toubou tribes in the southeast of the country. Interethnic conflicts become more frequent after the fall of the Muammar Gaddafi regime last year.