Libya’s Tebu tribe hopes for lasting peace

Published: 3/Dec/2012
Source: Al Jazeera

The harsh southern region is home to several tribes maintaining a delicate balance of
power over lucrative trade routes.

By Rebecca Murray

Kufra, Libya – The drive across Libya’s Sahara from Murzuq to Kufra is arduous. Without a road, the desert’s residents, subsistence smugglers, and border guards navigate massive sand dunes and old mine fields guided by small piles of stones and ubiquitous fuel canisters.

Once at the isolated Kufra oasis, a large wall built by the local majority Arab Zwai tribe encircles the small town, funnelling desert traffic into one guarded entrance. The Zwai are also in charge of Kufra’s government, military council, commercial downtown and airport.

Kufra’s other residents, the minority Tebu tribe, are segregated into the impoverished ghettoes of Gadarfai and Shura. Cordoned off by checkpoints now monitored by the Libyan army, they live in damaged shacks surrounded by rubbish heaps and scorched earth, leftovers from this year’s fighting.

Read full article on Al Jazeera website.

Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious
Regions: Libya
Year: 2012