The fact that a pet monkey’s attack on a high school girl could set off a deadly tribal clash in Libya is enough proof of the undercurrent of tensions that are continuously running through Libya.
Any small flicker of trouble seems enough to set off a roaring fire.
The deadly tribal clash in Libya has already lasted 4 days since a pet monkey set off on a school girl and knocked off her headscarf. A group of school girls had been passing by when the monkey which belonged to a shopkeeper from the Gaddadfa tribe attacked. According to local residents, the monkey had pulled off a girl’s headscarf, bit and scratched her.
Men from the Awlad Suleiman tribe had then retaliated on the Gaddadfa people killing three of them as well as the monkey. One resident who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said;
“There was an escalation on the second and third days with the use of tanks, mortars, and other heavy weapons,”
“There are still sporadic clashes and life is completely shut down in the areas where there has been fighting.“
Reuters reports that at least 16 people died in four days of fighting and Abdel-Rahman Areish, the head of Sabha city hospital, told the Associated Press news agency on Sunday that 20 people have been killed and 50 wounded.
The two tribes involved in the tribal clash, Awlad Suleiman and Gaddadfa, are allegedly backed by heavily armed groups according to Bader al-Daheli, a civil activist.
Both tribes are the most powerful armed factions in the region and the region – like most other parts of Libya – has been struck periodically by conflict since the uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi five years ago broke the country into warring factions.