Sabha is gate for mercenaries and stronghold of Al-Senussi’s pro-Gaddafi tribe

A Point of View, Libya, Middle East & North Africa, Politics | | March 1, 2011 at 14:57

Sabha is one of the major cities of Libya still under pro-Gaddafi forces. The population of 130,000 is described as a mixture of Arab and  Black.

It’s an important player in the Libyan revolution for two reasons:

1. Sabha is a hub for illegal immigration from across the Sahara, bringing people from Niger, Ghana, Togo, and Sudan hoping to pass through Tripoli to Europe. It’s a natural entry gate for paid mercenaries to enter Libya to fight for the pro-Gaddafi forces.

2. Sabha is remaining firmly in Gaddafi’s camp as long as the Magariha tribe remains loyal to Gaddafi. The city is the gatekeeper to the deep Sahara and the traditional stronghold of the tribe that has the strongest and longest allegiance to Gaddafi.

Gaddafi’s brother-in-law and chief henchman of his Inner Circle, Abdullah Al-Megrahi Al-Senussi, is a member of the Magariha tribe. So is the Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi.

Al-Senussi has been convicted in France of responsibility in the UTA flight that went down over Niger. He has a “go to jail” card when he leaves Libya. He will never surrender.

The Magariha tribe already has plenty of blood on their hands. They have no problem with getting more.

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