By Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent
Political risk consultancy Stratfor estimates that Libya has up to 140 tribes, but only 30 have any particular significance.
After the coup failed, the tribe was able to maintain closer relations with Gaddafi following closed door negotiations.
Libya has long been divided between various ethnicities and groups including North Africa indigenous Berber inhabitants, Arabs who arrived later and ethnic African tribal groups from further south. Cultural divisions between its two major cities of Tripoli and Benghazi can be traced to before the Romans.
LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) With Muammar Gaddafi effectively forced from power, Libya complex tribal and cultural divisions could hinder attempts by the Benghazi based rebel leadership to impose its rule on the country.
In its early stages, the conflict divided Libya once again along those lines, with the area around Benghazi under opposition control and the rebels taking the flag of the former Cyrenaican monarchy ousted by Gaddafi.
Some Libyans, mostly in the rebel movement, say such traditional structures are not very important in urban areas, but others say that they may prove vital in the absence of traditional government structures.
Experts say opposition to Gaddafi was always higher in eastern areas although several western tribes repeatedly rebelled against him. Gaddafi support was strongest in his own tribe as well as southern, often African tribes from Libya old desert province of Fazzan.
many ethnic Berbers to take the capital Tripoli.
Although the coup failed and a number of leaders were killed, imprisoned and driven into exile, the tribe maintained sizeable numbers within the military. Originally from the interior, many members have moved to the coast as the tribe has played an increasingly central role in politics. Leader Abdessalam Jalloud was once seen as the second most important man in the country, but he fell out with Gaddafi in the 1990s and the tribe joined the 1993 uprising.
"The prospect of increased friction or violent conflict between the country tribes, clans and ethnic groups specifically between the Arabs and Berbers remains a serious source of concern," said Anthony Skinner, Middle East analyst at political risk consultancy Maplecroft.
Tribes, subtribes and other groups have a variety of leadership structures, and rarely simply function as monolithic blocks, analysts say. With its territory running from the port of Sirte midway between Tripoli and Benghazi down into the Sahara, he used it to help cement his power.
Benghazi based rebel forces struggled to push Gaddafi loyalists back beyond the traditional provincial tribal boundary near the oil port of Brega, leaving it to western Libyan rebels Nike Air Max Black Out
The tribe is based primarily to the east of Tripoli with its origins in Misrata, initially besieged by Gaddafi forces and home to some of the rebels Air Max 90 Womens 2015 Black
ETHNIC, TRIBAL DIVISIONS
who took Tripoli. Some of their territory reaches towards Sirte. The tribe launched a coup against Gaddafi in 1993 with the support of the Magarha tribe demanding greater representation in government.
At worst, some analysts said the country could face a bout of ethnic infighting that residual Gaddafi loyalists may exploit, complicating attempts to rebuild the country, resume oil exports and return to relative peace.
"The general absence of formal structures through which to govern poses another challenge."
having a stranglehold on power and makes up the core elements of some of the "regime protection units". But some members perhaps part of assorted subtribes Air Max 90 For Sale that benefited less from his rule may have abandoned him early in the uprising.
With some reports of reprisal attacks against individuals and groups accused of backing Gaddafi, analysts said divisions could worsen if law and order are not restored in the coming weeks.
Analysts say the tribe became wealthy under his rule, is sometimes accused of Air Max 90 White Black Grey
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