Libyan authorities need help to provide peace - Russian Envoy Margelov

Russian Presidential Envoy for Africa Mikhail Margelov has urged the Friends of Libya to assist that country.

Libyan authorities have a deficit of resources for providing inter-tribal peace, he told Interfax. "Actually, the revolution liquidated power bodies and law enforcement agencies. Besides post-civil war Libya is full of weapons. Isn't it time for the friends of Libya, who were meeting so frequently during the armed conflict between the Transitional National Council and the Gaddafi regime, to display their amicable attitude to the people of Libya and to the country and to offer help?" he asked.

The Friends of Libya should display their attitude to Libya and its people irrespective of the state system at a particular stage of the country's history, Margelov said.

"[The Friends of Libya] should have long offered help and mediation in the achievement of national accord in Libya. The African Union, the League of Arab States, and, naturally, the UN can play a significant role, as well," he said.

New Libyan authorities have encountered the same problems as the Gaddafi regime, Margelov said.

"Armed clashes continue in the southeast between volunteers of the Negroid Tibu and Arabic Zwai. Gaddafi used air strikes to pacify the insurgent tribes in 2009. The international community paid no attention to the use of force back then," Margelov said.

He recalled that from 47 to 50 people died in the Tibu-Zwai clashes in Kufra last week, and many elderly people, women and children were wounded.

"The armed clashes between these tribes resume regularly. They lasted for two weeks in February 2012 and claimed more than 100 lives on both sides. Another two groups clashed in western Libya this month - militants from Zintan, who made an important contribution to the toppling of the Gaddafi regime, and El-Mashashia who did not take part in the fight against Gaddafi forces," he said.

Both firearms and heavy weapons were used, and 100 lives were taken and more than 500 people were injured, he said.

Inter-tribal discord is typical of Africa, which has up to 500 ethnic groups living on territories either poorly fitting political borders or having no borders at all. In any clashes on the continent, the civilian population suffers most, he said.

"Pacification does not mean lasting peace there; it could be a fragile truth. A cause of numerous minor and big inter-tribal conflicts is the tribalism characteristic of African culture - the hypertrophied cult, public and political isolation within tribes," he said.

Hence, much efforts are needed for preventing this isolation and strict division into "our good" and "their bad" from developing into clashes over water, pastures, contraband and so on, the envoy said.

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