Libya's 'monkey war' to end after tribal agreement

Libya's 'monkey war' to end after tribal agreement
A bloody tribal war in Libya sparked by an incident involving a monkey could soon end, following mediation between elders.
2 min read
23 November, 2016
Sabha has seen bloody clashes since the start of the 2011 revolution [AFP-File]
A bloody battle in a Libyan oasis city that began over an incident involving a monkey is set to end, after tribal elders reached an agreement to end the crisis.

Fighting has taken place in southern Libyan city of Sabha for six days, and involved tanks and heavy weaponry

The latest battle between the tribe of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi - the Gaddadfa - and the Awlad Suleiman cost over 20 lives.

This was down from previous estimates of dozens dead.

It began when a Gaddadfa shopkeeper's monkey attacked or taunted a girl from the rival tribe, sparking revenge attacks by armed men from the Awlad Suleiman clan.

Now the two sides appear to have reached an consensus to end the fighting after tribal elders from across Libya mediated a truce, Libya Herald reported.

"We hope that all the fighting be over and people will open shops and offices," the city's mayor Hamed Rafeh told the newspaper.

Tragically, around 15 women and children had been injured in the fighting, he said, while 26 people were airlifted to Tripoli and Misrata for urgent medical treatment.

Relations between the two groups have been strained and previous clashes in Sabha have led to deaths.

Much of the violence in the area has between Tuareg and Toubou clans.

The incident reflects an ingrained divide in the country, with violence escalating since the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011 pitting regions, governments and tribes against one another.