By Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 22 September 2015:
Kufra’s town council has threatened to turn to neighbouring states help to fill the security gap caused by the “continuous . . .[restrict]inability of both the governments in the east and west of Libya to protect Kufra residents against armed bands.”
Referring to Sunday’s incident, in which armed men stormed the town, the council said: “all options are on the table for seeking help from foreign groups and brotherly states, near neighbours or far countries, to protect and secure Kufra residents.”
The councillors accused both the Libyan administrations, based in Tripoli and Beida, of negligence in failing to properly maintain the town’s security, “in order to serve their agendas in fighting one another.”
The council maintained that Sunday’s attack was launched by a group of “Libyan Tebus and Chadians with the support of Sudanese rebels, who are roaming the country’s desert in the absence of the Libyan government.”
It is believed that the weekend assault on Kufra was carried out mainly by forces from JEM, the main Darfur movement that has been rebelling against the Sudanese government. They are thought to have been joined by Chadian mercenaries.
This makes the issue even more sensitive for the majority Zwai tribesmen in Kufra since Muammar Qaddafi used to fund JEM’s Darfur rebellion and also persuaded it to attack Kufra during the revolution.
Though the council did not spell it out, an informed source says that the foreign help it is thinking of seeking would be from Egypt or Sudan, but particularly Egypt.
Until earlier this year there was still a notional Libyan-Sudanese joint frontier force based in Kufra, from which Libya formally pulled out last month .
Though it has protested its support for the internationally recognised government in the east, Sudan has been accused of giving material support to Libya Dawn. Egypt however is now unequivocal in its support for the government. [/restrict]