First LNA units arrive in Kufra

By Jamal Adel.

Kufra (Archives).

Kufra (Archives).

Kufra, 15 March 2018:

The first LNA units arrived in Kufra in accordance with the re-assigning of Kufra’s military governor and appointed mayor Al Mabrouk Al Gazwie to take office in Sebha replacing Brigadier Ramadan Al Barasi.

This move came as part of a military operation announced last week by the LNA code-named “Law enforcement in the south”. This came followed a warning statement released by LNA six days ago to all “foreigners” and “Africans” to leave the south within the next ten days. This was in response to widespread claims that foreign forces were taking part in the fighting in Sebha.

The LNA units came mainly from Benghazi to secure the remote and war-stricken town of Kufra and to re-open roads inside the town closed since October 2015 following the deadly month-long clashes between Tebu and Arab Zwai tribe members. These had led to severe loss in property and over a hundred deaths and casualties.

Brigadier Belgasim Al Abaj, a Qaddafi-era chief of military intelligence in Kufra and member of Kufra Zwai tribe is to replace Al Gazwie. However, it will be recalled that Al Abaj had remained loyal to Qaddafi and had waged war against his own town’s revolutionaries in 2011 but was eventually pushed out of the town on 5 May 2011.

Local LNA unit, Sobul Al Salam, largely Salafists and of Zwai members, is positioned at the town’s only in-out checkpoint, and as a result, the town remained calm since the late 2015 clashes. As a result, this had encouraged members of the Tebu and Zwai to gather in Tunis for further reconciliation talks sponsored by UNSMIL on 21 February 2018.

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