Libyan tribes gather in Cairo to discuss stability

Libyan tribal leaders meet in Cairo to ally with Egypt against militant threats on Libyan-Egyptian border

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Egypt invited hundreds of Libyan tribal leaders to Cairo to talk about the security and territorial integrity of the region and prevent any violence provoked by militants on the border between the two countries, Reuters has reported. 

After toppling Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya was thrown into chaos by militants who took advantage of a power vacuum created by two competing governments backed by different armed factions. 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi called on all Libyan tribal leaders to cooperate against the major security threat on the border and offer support to sustain stability in Libya.

“Egypt had invited the tribal leaders to talks because they were the backbone of society and main guarantor of Libyan stability,” security and territorial integrity, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said.

"Egypt will not hesitate to support her brother Libyans until they achieve security and reconciliation among themselves," he added.

Speaking at the opening of an Egypt-hosted conference of Libyan tribesmen on Monday, tribal chieftain Massoud Omar urged the Egyptian government to arm forces loyal to the Tobruk-based government and "to struggle diplomatically for lifting an arms embargo on it."

He also called on Egyptian authorities to open borders with Libya.

Reaching a common consensus among the hundreds of tribal leaders on how to cope with threats and violence provoked by militants could be a long process.

Backed by Egypt, the Tobruk-based government has operated out of eastern Libya..

Egypt says it wants the Tobruk government and tribal leaders to unite and lay down their arms, otherwise it may seek to carry out a Yemen-type intervention.

However, analysts say that most of the tribes in attendance in Cairo were known supporters of the Tobruk government, with supporters of its Tripoli-based rival not well represented.

“The tribal influence in Libya still holds sway and has been rooted in state institutions for years giving rise to the belief that they are the key to any solution to the current crisis in Libya.” Mohammed Shaikhibrahim from Euronews said.

TRTWorld and agencies