After the 1969 revolution the balance of power shifted – from the tribes of eastern Libya, Cyrenaica to those of eastern and south-easter Libya, Tripolitana and Rezzan.
The tribes that gained in influence were the al-Qaddadfa, al-Magarha, and al-Warfalla. These three tribes were to be the mainstay of the of Muammar Qaddafis support up until 1993. This was when a coup against Qaddafi with members of the al-Warfalla tribe was brought down. From then on al-Warfalla has been out in the cold. Qaddafi has come more and more come to rely on close relatives and trusted member of the al-Qaddadfa tribe, who he appointed to key positions in the military, government and security services, thus alienating former tribal allies.
In the uprising of 2011, in Tripolitana the al-Warfalla and the Al-Zitan tribes have proclaimed their support for the up-rising and the al-Maghara tribe, a former ally of Qaddafi, is also backing the uprising. In Cyrenaica all seven major clans are in support of the uprising. In the oil rice Al-Kufrah district, in the south part of Cyrenaica the al-Zuwayya tribe, supporters of the Senussi-order, have also thrown in their lot with the opposition.
This all explains Qaddafis need for foreign mercenaries as this conflict can be characterized as everyone against the al-Qaddadfa and the Qaddafi-family.
If the regime of Qaddafi is vanquish, with the revolutionary system of Jamahiriya abolished, what remains then but the memory of the Libyan monarchy under king Idris, the Senussi-order and the tribes? As a majority of the tribes are backing the uprising against Qaddafi it would not be an unreasonable hypothesis that they will play a major role in the development of Libya after Qaddafi.