(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
A ceasefire agreement was signed Monday evening by tribes in the Libyan city Zawiya, about 50 kilometers west of Tripoli, after four days of violent clashes involving two tribes, according to a local Libyan news channel.
Sporadic clashes began on Friday between the Awlad Saqr (Sons of Saqr) and Awlad Hunaysh (Sons of Hunaysh) tribes continuing into the weekend until the ceasefire was signed on Monday.
The tribes fought each other using medium and heavy weapons and at one point forced civilians to flee their homes, according to a local source.
A local source said the violence began when Awlad Saqr made claims that Awlad Hunaysh killed three tribesmen in Sayyad district in Zawiya.
“The clashes were the result of longstanding rivalries (between Awlad Saqr and Awlad Hunaysh) that finally exploded,” said Abdul Karim Al-Obah, the Mayor of Zawiya Mayor to local media.
“In the wake of the clashes, the Libyan Red Crescent recovered the bodies of five armed tribesmen,” said Muhannad Karema, a coordinator for the Red Crescent.
The ceasefire “agreement pertains to all tribes in the city, including the two warring tribes,” said a local source.
The clashing tribes agreed to pull out their “military vehicles from the streets of” Zawiya and to give up any “wanted person from the two disputing tribes to a neutral third part.”
The neutral party was not named by the local source.
Martin Kobler, the UN’s special envoy to Libya, released a statement on Monday expressing his grave concern regarding the violence and endangerment of civilians in Zawiya.
“Killing and injuring civilians through direct or indiscriminate attacks constitute heinous crimes” tweeted Kobler on Monday.
“It’s completely unacceptable to fight and use heavy weapons to assert interests, particularly in residential area.”