Libyan tribes fight over post of envoy to Egypt

Tripoli, June 4 (IANS) The internationally recognised Libyan government in Tobruk was forced to close the foreign affairs ministry headquarters after two tribes from the same clan exchanged gunfire in a dispute over who would be named ambassador to Egypt.

Rifles and other light weapons were fired on Wednesday morning outside the headquarters of the foreign ministry, located in the coastal town of al-Bayda, a security official told Efe news agency.

“The skirmish broke out between two tribes of al-Barasa clan, who compete over the post of ambassador to Egypt,” the official explained, and added that no casualties were reported.

Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani decided to transfer the headquarters of the Libyan cabinet to the coastal area after the nearby Tobruk was attacked last December.

Libya has endured civil war and chaos since 2011, when the international community contributed to the overthrow of the dictatorial regime under Muammar Gaddafi.

Two governments emerged in the aftermath: one established by Islamist rebels in Tripoli and the other internationally recognised one based in Tobruk, while both dispute over political power alongside the threat of Islamic extremist groups, like Al Qaeda and Islamic State.

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