LNA Campaign In South Libya Wins Support Despite Reports Of Atrocities Against The Tebu
The Libyan National Army’s (LNA) advance into south Libya, launched two weeks ago, has won support among a large swath of the population in the region. In Sebha, the LNA struck social agreements and tribal guarantees with various powerbrokers from the mix of Arab, Tuareg and Tebu tribes in the city. This ensured a peaceful handover of key locations and arms depots, previously controlled by Awlad Suliman and Tebu tribal fighters, to new commanders appointed by the LNA, under the Sebha Operations Room. However, there have been a flurry of media reports accusing the LNA of committing war crimes and violations against Tebu communities in the South. Some Tebu members of the House of Representatives (HoR) and the parallel eastern government resigned from their positions last week in response to the LNA campaign
The longer-term implications of the LNA’s operation remain unpredictable at present. On the positive side, the LNA’s operation has had some success in winning over a large segment of the Libyan population, including some formerly opposed to Haftar, in a manner akin to what happened after the LNA’s takeover of the Oil Crescent and resumption of exports from that region in September 2016. This is likely to be a major boost for GNA and LNA reconciliation, especially in terms of military and security unification. It could also improve security and stability in the South, helping to normalise oil production from this region. On the negative side, the LNA’s operation runs a serious risk of triggering an ethnic war between the South’s tribal components, primarily between the Arabs and the Tebu.