Tripoli, 31 May:
A special operations unit of the national army has been sent to the border town of Ghadames to provide . . .[restrict]protection and maintain security in the town and surrounding area.
The head of the Special Forces’ public affairs office, Milad Mohamed Sabir, said, according to WAL, that these forces were taking up their positions and would start implementing the tasks entrusted to them — which was to protect and secure the city and its surroundings.
Meanwhile, an official with Ghadames Military Council confirmed that security forces from the Interior Ministry had also been deployed to the town and were already on patrol maintaining peace and security in the area and on the border.
The source explained that normal life has returned to the town.
Earlier this month there were violent clashes between local residents and Tuareg tribesmen whose families were forced out of Ghadames last September and who want to return. Many local residents are opposed and some have been prepared to use force to keep them out. Nine people were killed in the fighting, eight of them Tuaregs including the local Tuareg leader Isa Talaly.
The NTC, the government and the local council, however, say they welcome the Tuaregs’ return. A fortnight ago, the NTC’s spokesman, Mohammed Al-Hareizi, was in Ghadames trying to mediate on the issue and ensure the Tuaregs’ safe return. [/restrict]