By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 20 September:
One of Sebha’s independent members of the General National Congress has called on the government to dismiss the southern region’s two top military commanders, Wanis Bukhamada and Abdurrahman Tawil.
In a signed petition, Abdelqader Ehwaili said it was clear they were unable to control the deteriorating security situation in the town and surrounding area. He wants regular army reinforcements to be deployed. He is also calling for weapons to by rounded up and anyone suspected of crimes to be arrested.
On Monday, unknown assailants attempted to assassinate the head of Sebha Military Council, Colonel Ali Dallah Gaidi. They failed but killed his wife instead.
Last Friday, there were clashes between Tebus and members of a local Arab tribe in which two people were reported killed.
Earlier, this month there was an attack on Bukhamada’s Benghazi home, when a bomb was thrown at it. Another failed to explode. No one was hurt but it was the second time that he had been targetted. The first time was in Sebha.
Bukhamada was sent to Sebha in March at the head of a 2,000-strong force to pacify the town and region following prolonged deadly clashes between Tebus and Arabs that resulted in 147 dead and 395 wounded. As part of the pacification, the town was declared a military zone. The declaration is still on force but it does not seem to have had much effect in stopping violence.