Andy Morgan reports:

Gaddafi has been buying the affections and fighting skills of the nomadic tribes of the Sahara for a long time. His vision of a borderless Islamic republic of the Sahara struck a chord with the Touareg, who have been fighting their own rebellion against the governments of Mali and Niger since independence back in 1960. Despite widespread suspicion that Gaddafi only ever helped the Touareg to further his own territorial schemes, many Touareg fear the consequences of his fall from power. 

The more we know ...

(Photo: Women from a nomadic Tuareg tribe dressed in traditional clothes hold a picture of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi during the 16th International Ghat Festival, in the ancient city of Ghat in the heart of the southwestern Libyan desert on February 15, 2010. By Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.