More than 30 individuals have been killed in an air strike on the southern Libyan oasis town of Murzuq in the historic region of Fezzan, populated mostly by Dawada people, but also by Tuareg. (Image above: illustration).
Eastern Libyan (historicaly region of Cirenaica) forces under the leadership of Marshall Khalifa Haftar confirmed an assault on August 4, but denied any responsibility for the death of civilians.
Despite expected movement for unity among the Tuareg and other southern Libyan minorities, at present the situation in Fezzan stays fragile, and the future of the province remains obscure.
In reality Fezzan is unstable in absence of unity among Tuareg communities vis-à-vis the events in Tripoli. The Tuareg are hugely disappointed with the results of the regime change, which did not fulfill any from the multiple promises made by the West.
Population of Fezzan is plagued by lack of basic healthcare, access to water, education and jobs – all resulting in low living standards, depression and crime. The infrastructures, including developed by state electric grids erected during Colonel Gaddafi rule, have dilapidated without maintenance, and are out of use, and there no opportunities to restore them until the conflict is ravaging Libya.
Many men left Fezzan to join different battling militant groups in search for earnings.
Both Fayez Al Sarraj in Tripoli, and Khalifa Haftar in Benghazi are struggling for alliance with different tribes in Fezzan: Tuareg and Toubou (Teda and Dazagra).
Like the supported by the West government of Al-Sarraj, Haftar has equally alliances among Tuareg, multiplying promises.
For Europe significance of Fezzan has risen dramatically after Libyan state collapse, which left southern borders unattended, and opened a broad gate for illegal migration from from the Sahel to Mediterranean coast – the so called sub-Saharan migrant route.
“Indiscriminate attacks on densely populated residential areas may amount to war crimes and must cease immediately. As High Representative / Vice-President Mogherini stated on behalf of the EU on 2 August, those committing war crimes and those breaching International Humanitarian Law must be brought to justice and held to account” the European External Action Service reacted on Murzuq attack on its official Twitter account.