Tripoli, 17 September:
Prime minster-elect Mustafa Abushagur met a delegation of Tuareg elders from the Ghadames area as well as the head . . .[restrict]of the Awaal local council today in Tripoli to try and find a solution to the unresolved issue of the Tuaregs who fled from Ghadames last year and who have since been prevented from returning. Discussion also focussed on the effects of their resettlement on a stretch of land between Derj and Ghadames known as Khamseen.
Last year, the Tuareg in and around Ghadames were accused of supporting Qaddafi during the revolution and, as a result of reprisals against them last September, many fled their homes in the town. Since then there have been attempts to negotiate a settlement between the two sides under which the Tuaregs could return. However, many Arabs in Ghadames are bitterly opposed to allowing them back while many of the Tuareg do not want to return. They hope to set up their own new town at Awaal.
In May, nine people, eight of them Tuaregs were killed in violent clashes in the town between Arab residents and Tuaregs when a government delegation led by the then NTC spokesman Mohammed Al-Hareizi tried in vain to mediate a settlement between the two sides. The government had to send in 400 extra troops to keep the peace.
There is no sign that views have changed since then. However, according to Mohamed Mousa, the information coordinator for the region’s local council, Abushagur promised to quickly resolve the issue of the displaced persons and to protect the border and the region.