Libyan rebels of Dehiba

DEHIBA – No matter how hard I try to avoid their sticky existence, Turkish soap operas do not stop stalking me. Beirut, Bourj Al Barajneh Palestinian camp, Damascus… and Now here they appear again at Dehiba, Tunisian-Libyan border in words of Libyan rebels…

Libyan rebels at Dehiba border

When we crossed the border into Libyan territories to meet the rebels I was hoping to have an ‘in-depth conversation’ about their suppliers, aims, projects and ambitions. But I was certainly not expecting to be the first one interviewed ‘by the rebels’ on the Turkish mafia soap opera Valley of the Wolves…

I felt ‘terribly sorry’ to disappoint the eager Libyan rebels who wanted to know more about the characters and the future episodes of the TV serie. Although, it took me a while, I managed to veil my ‘ignorance’ and rebels this time asked for the ‘swirling position of Turkey’ in Libyan conflict.

Walking around the empty cartrige cases we arrive at the shack the Libyan rebels have built at the border. It was lunchtime. Not willing to be named the rebels had their dish in one hand, and a rifle in another they were watching Al Jazeera in the middle of the desert.

“Why Erdogan doesn’t keep a consistent approach? First Turkey made mistake, standing behind Ghaddafi. But later, he cleaned it up by calling him to leave the power” one of the rebels told me.

Unable to get enough information, we left the Libyan territories unsatisfied after being warned that Ghaddafi’s forces could have attacked the shack we were at.

Rebels 'at lunch break'

Passports in the backpack, we walked back to Tunisia with no interrogation.

The next day we walked into the Libyan territories again, this time with the young Libyan rebel Hytem, 24, who proudly spotted every single point they’ve killed the Ghaddafi soldiers where their clothes, matches, cigarettes and blankets were still lying on their cold blood.

After a quick walk around the captured buildings, Hytem gave us a ride into Wazin with a truck seized by Ghaddafi forces.

“What’s your job?” I asked him. “Revolution, only revolution,” he responded with a big smile on his tanned face.

Hytem said that most of the ammunitions, funds and food are being supplied by Qatar, while ‘Ghaddafi received help of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.’

Hytem is showing me where they've been attacked. Photo by Jason C. Andrew

Meanwhile, the Libyan refugees fleeing into Tunisia were queuing up with their loaded cars in front of checkpoints to have their registrations completed by Tunisian officers.

According to rebels, because Ras Ajdir area was ‘under control of Ghaddafi’ only African refugees would ‘dare to cross in from the northern border’ whereas since south was controlled by the rebels, the Libyans of Nefusa mountains felt more comfortable using this path.

Turkish version of this article has been published at Radikal Daily Newspaper.

For further images please visit my Demotix page.


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Filed under Libya, Tunisia

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