Tripoli, March 28: There were large protests by Amazigh demonstrators in the town of Zuara on Tuesday. They were demanding the . . .[restrict]government amend the new law on the June elections to the constituent assembly. They want a specifically Amazigh constituency.
Last week, the NTC issued law No. 14 setting out the constituencies for the June Constitutional Assembly elections. The west of Libya split into six mega constituencies: Khoms, Misrata, Tripoli, Zawia, Gharian and Aziziya. None is based on the Jebel Nafusa, home to the overwhelming majority of Libya’s Amazigh population.
The Amazigh are mainly found in Jebel Nafusa towns such as Zintan, Nalut, Yefren and Jadu, as well as Zuara. There are also large numbers of Amazigh in Tripoli.
They have been demanding a greater acceptance of their identity in the new Libya in recognition of the role they played in the country’s liberation.
The Amazigh demonstrators were demanding a specific Jebel Nafusa constituency. They claimed that the NTC was continuing to marginalise them.
The demonstrations come at a time of growing demands from other parts of Libya to address the differing ethic and cultural traditions within the country.
There is significant support in the east for autonomy while the Tebu and Tuareg are also demanding recognition of their identities.