Kufra’s Tebu students fail to resume university for third year running

By Libya Herald reporter.

The Kufra campus on Benghazi University

The Kufra campus on Benghazi University

Tunis, 5 December 2017:

Tebu students enrolled at Kufra campus that is part of Benghazi University have failed to resume studies for the third consecutive year.

The problems started in May 2015 when, in a shootout on the campus of the sciences and arts college, two Zwai students died and at least four others were injured, including two female students.

The campus was closed – the second time in two years – and sporadic clashes between the two rival communities continued in the town for much of the year resulting in some 80 dead and 150 wounded. There were mediation efforts by members of the Magharba tribe from Ajdabiya and other Cyrenaican elders. But they failed.

However, a House of Representatives mediation team finally managed to partially succeed in alleviating the tension and brokered a ceasefire agreement. It was not until November last year that Kufra airport reopened although flights did not start till this tear. A number of strategic roads in the town are still closed over fears that fighting may erupt again.

Following the disruption at the Kufra campus, Zwai students relocated their studies to schools in the town’s northern suburbs where the community predominates.

The current campus location is considered “unsafe” because it is in a largely Tebu area.

Meanwhile Tebu elders met with the dean of Benghazi University and members of the HoR in an attempt to find a solution. The dean has suggested moving Tebu students to the university’s campus in Soloug, almost 1,000 kilometres to the north, but this was rejected.

Tebu students have since protested in Kufra demanding the resumption of studies, but so far there appears little chance of the issue being resolved.

Kufra college of sciences and arts, part of Benghazi University, was founded in 2001, until its closure in 2015. It comprised some 4,000 students, the vast majority Zwais or other Arabs. Less than 300 were Tebus.

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