Showing posts tagged as "sebha"

Showing posts tagged sebha

24 May
Analysis: Libyan minority rights at a crossroads | IRIN News
Since Muammar Gaddafi’s fall seven months ago, Libya’s non-Arab minorities, including an estimated 250,000 Tuaregs, have begun more vehemently to insist on their rights. “Gaddafi’s policy was ‘keep your dog hungry so that he follows you’,” said one Tuareg activist, al-Hafiz Mohamed Sheikh. “This means keeping people in need. With Tuaregs, he said many times that we would have our rights, but he never fulfilled his promises. Sometimes he would favour some individuals, but not whole communities.” Flying over the ramshackle houses in Tayuri settlement in Libya’s southwestern city of Sebha are the blue, green and yellow flags of the Imazighen (non-Arab minorities). During Gaddafi’s time, the Imazighen, including the Tuaregs, experienced cultural and political marginalization, with the regime instituting an all-encompassing pan-Arabic ideology and refusing to recognize them as a distinct ethnic group indigenous to the country and the region. Since Gaddafi’s fall, nine new local associations have emerged in Tayuri promoting the rights of Tuaregs. According to the International Crisis Group, the Arabization of Imazighen communities, “advanced more rapidly and completely in Libya than in any other Maghreb country”. Law 24 forbids the Imazighen, including Tuaregs, from giving their children non-Arab names, and those who attended cultural celebrations in neighbouring countries were arrested upon their return to Libya. While Gaddafi absorbed a large number of Tuaregs into his army and is said to have used a number of them as mercenaries during the uprising, many suffered from the same historic marginalization as other minority groups.Nine-tenths of Libyans live along the Mediterranean coast, and many see non-Arab southerners as belonging more to “Africa” than Libya. Tuaregs, a nomadic pastoralist group, are also found in Algeria, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
FULL ARTICLE (IRIN)
Photo: Gigi Tagliapietra/Flickr

Analysis: Libyan minority rights at a crossroads | IRIN News

Since Muammar Gaddafi’s fall seven months ago, Libya’s non-Arab minorities, including an estimated 250,000 Tuaregs, have begun more vehemently to insist on their rights. 

“Gaddafi’s policy was ‘keep your dog hungry so that he follows you’,” said one Tuareg activist, al-Hafiz Mohamed Sheikh. “This means keeping people in need. With Tuaregs, he said many times that we would have our rights, but he never fulfilled his promises. Sometimes he would favour some individuals, but not whole communities.”
 
Flying over the ramshackle houses in Tayuri settlement in Libya’s southwestern city of Sebha are the blue, green and yellow flags of the Imazighen (non-Arab minorities). During Gaddafi’s time, the Imazighen, including the Tuaregs, experienced cultural and political marginalization, with the regime instituting an all-encompassing pan-Arabic ideology and refusing to recognize them as a distinct ethnic group indigenous to the country and the region. 

Since Gaddafi’s fall, nine new local associations have emerged in Tayuri promoting the rights of Tuaregs. 

According to the International Crisis Group, the Arabization of Imazighen communities, “advanced more rapidly and completely in Libya than in any other Maghreb country”. 

Law 24 forbids the Imazighen, including Tuaregs, from giving their children non-Arab names, and those who attended cultural celebrations in neighbouring countries were arrested upon their return to Libya. 

While Gaddafi absorbed a large number of Tuaregs into his army and is said to have used a number of them as mercenaries during the uprising, many suffered from the same historic marginalization as other minority groups.

Nine-tenths of Libyans live along the Mediterranean coast, and many see non-Arab southerners as belonging more to “Africa” than Libya. Tuaregs, a nomadic pastoralist group, are also found in Algeria, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.

FULL ARTICLE (IRIN)

Photo: Gigi Tagliapietra/Flickr

15 May
AllAfrica | Libya: Uneasy Calm in Sebha After Clashes 
A tenuous peace has taken hold in Libya’s southwestern city of Sebha more than a month after tribal clashes killed at least 70 people, with tensions still high between communities living here, many of whom have their own armed militias, according to local residents.
"You see that place?" Adoum Abaka, a Tubu from Tayuri, a poor neighbourhood of Sebha inhabited mainly by Tubu and Tuareg families, told IRIN, pointing to a nearby building on a hill with gaping holes where the walls used to be. "That is where some of us hid when Tayuri was under attack by the Awlad Sulayman [tribe]. We were fighting with Kalashnikovs. One person was killed there."
The latest clashes erupted in March between the Tubu ethnic group and the Arab Awlad Sulayman and Awlad Abu Seif tribes. The clashes are said to have begun after a man belonging to the Abu Seif family was killed allegedly by the Tubu. But other narratives suggest the conflict followed a dispute over several million dollars which the ruling Transitional National Council (TNC) was planning to spend in Sebha. The violence went on for six days until the TNC brought in forces from the north to quell it.
The same communities clashed in February in the oasis of Kufra.
TNC forces have brought some semblance of peace to Sebha, but most tribal groups still have their own militias. Wanees Abu Khamada, head of the Special Forces and military governor of southern Libya, told IRIN the military recently banned people from carrying weapons at night. However, no process has yet been established to take back the weapons.
When asked if the army lacked the ability to bring the region under control, he said: “We are still trying. The army is not weak, but it is restricted by law. The militias on the other hand can just go and attack a place on their own.”
Despite the presence of the military, residents of Sebha are apprehensive. Adam Ahmad of Tayuri said the ceasefire between the two groups was an “obligation”, and many were afraid of what would happen if the army pulled out.
"Fighting has ceased, but we don’t know for how long," said Al-Zarooq from the local council.
Outside the camp council of Tayuri, an assortment of weapons, including mortars, rockets, artillery and unexploded munitions lie scattered on the ground.
In nearby Al-Hijara, charred remains of abandoned houses and cars stand testimony to the destruction wrought on the neighbourhood. Ali Mohamed Boubacar Julwar, a teacher who fled Sebha for the southern town of al-Qatroun, came back to find his family gone and his house destroyed.
"I found my neighbours outside, no shelter, their property stolen," he said. "They said Awlad Sulayman did it, and some Sebha families."
FULL ARTICLE (AllAfrica)
Photo: Flickr BBC World Service photo stream

AllAfrica | Libya: Uneasy Calm in Sebha After Clashes 

A tenuous peace has taken hold in Libya’s southwestern city of Sebha more than a month after tribal clashes killed at least 70 people, with tensions still high between communities living here, many of whom have their own armed militias, according to local residents.

"You see that place?" Adoum Abaka, a Tubu from Tayuri, a poor neighbourhood of Sebha inhabited mainly by Tubu and Tuareg families, told IRIN, pointing to a nearby building on a hill with gaping holes where the walls used to be. "That is where some of us hid when Tayuri was under attack by the Awlad Sulayman [tribe]. We were fighting with Kalashnikovs. One person was killed there."

The latest clashes erupted in March between the Tubu ethnic group and the Arab Awlad Sulayman and Awlad Abu Seif tribes. The clashes are said to have begun after a man belonging to the Abu Seif family was killed allegedly by the Tubu. But other narratives suggest the conflict followed a dispute over several million dollars which the ruling Transitional National Council (TNC) was planning to spend in Sebha. The violence went on for six days until the TNC brought in forces from the north to quell it.

The same communities clashed in February in the oasis of Kufra.

TNC forces have brought some semblance of peace to Sebha, but most tribal groups still have their own militias. Wanees Abu Khamada, head of the Special Forces and military governor of southern Libya, told IRIN the military recently banned people from carrying weapons at night. However, no process has yet been established to take back the weapons.

When asked if the army lacked the ability to bring the region under control, he said: “We are still trying. The army is not weak, but it is restricted by law. The militias on the other hand can just go and attack a place on their own.”

Despite the presence of the military, residents of Sebha are apprehensive. Adam Ahmad of Tayuri said the ceasefire between the two groups was an “obligation”, and many were afraid of what would happen if the army pulled out.

"Fighting has ceased, but we don’t know for how long," said Al-Zarooq from the local council.

Outside the camp council of Tayuri, an assortment of weapons, including mortars, rockets, artillery and unexploded munitions lie scattered on the ground.

In nearby Al-Hijara, charred remains of abandoned houses and cars stand testimony to the destruction wrought on the neighbourhood. Ali Mohamed Boubacar Julwar, a teacher who fled Sebha for the southern town of al-Qatroun, came back to find his family gone and his house destroyed.

"I found my neighbours outside, no shelter, their property stolen," he said. "They said Awlad Sulayman did it, and some Sebha families."

FULL ARTICLE (AllAfrica)

Photo: Flickr BBC World Service photo stream