Libya’s Sabha Oasis: Former Qaddafist Stronghold Becoming Regional Center of Insecurity #Gaddafi

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During the rule of the late Mu’ammar Qaddafi, Libya’s Sabha Oasis was an important regional security center, dominating Libya’s remote Fezzan region and the ancient trans-Saharan trade routes that connect sub-Saharan Africa to the Mediterranean coast. The Libyan airbase and garrison at Sabha gave Qaddafi a military presence in a region that contains most of Libya’s considerable oil wealth as well as a remote center for nuclear weapons development and rocket testing. The presence of many Qaddafist loyalists in Sabha (including members of Qaddafi’s own Qadhadhfa tribe) made it the last major center to be taken by rebel forces in the campaign to depose Qaddafi. Today, roughly a year-and-a-half after Qaddafi’s death, Sabha’s strategic importance has actually increased due to the insecurity that prevails in southwestern desert.

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