Tripoli, 22 May:
Musa Al-Koni, the Tuareg representative on the NTC, is reported to have resigned over the treatment his fellow Tuaregs . . .[restrict]in Ghadames. However, NTC spokesman Mohammed Al-Hareizi says that although he has heard rumours of the resignation, there had been nothing official from Koni. “No resignation has been handed to the NTC,” he told Libya Herald today.
There were bloody clashes in and around Ghadames last week between Tuaregs, many of whom who were forced out of their homes in the border town last September and want to return, and local residents who do not want them back. Nine people were killed in the fighting including the local Tuareg leader Isa Talaly.
Hareizi was in the Ghadames later last week leading an NTC conciliation team to resolve divisions between the two sides. On Thursday, he was himself caught up in an attack by local residents against a Tuareg delegation which had been invited back to the town to negotiate a return.
There had been change of attitude, he indicated. “The local council say they welcome the Tuareg to return,” he said. “We [the NTC] are also encouraging them to go back.”.
Some were already doing so he said, possibly reassured by the increased military presence in the town: last week 400 troops were deployed there to keep the peace between the two communities.
However, it has been reported that on Saturday more Tuareg families were still arriving in nearby Derj, where many of the displaced Tuaregs from Ghadames are now staying. A number staged a protest during the day against the Derj branch of the National Commercial Bank in Ghadames which they say is refusing to process their salaries. [/restrict]