By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 27 October 2013:
Some 80 armed Amazigh from Zuwara are preventing oil tankers from docking at the Mellitah oil terminal, . . .[restrict]and are threatening to close the terminal’s pipeline, in the latest protest targeting the country’s oil industry.
The group are protesting over demands for more seats in the 60-member Constitutional Committee, which will be be elected, probably in December. Just two seats have been reserved for the Amazigh community.
The group started the protest at the terminal, operated by ENI and the National Oil Corporation (NOC), last night and it has continued throughout today.
“The protesters are from Zuwara and are revolutionaries who fought for Libya’s interests and unity, not for political and individual interests,” a member of the political committee of the Supreme Amazigh Council, Ayoub Sufian, told the Libya Herald.
He said that there had been discussions with the Libyan staff at the Mellitah complex and an agreement had been reached to await a response from the General National Congress (GNC). But if the protestors’ demands were not considered, Sufian said, they would close the terminal’s pipelines.
Amazigh activists, mainly from Nalut, have already closed the gas pipeline to the complex from the Wafa gas field in pursuit of their political demands.
The Supreme Council of Amazigh have warned on several occasions of the consequences of ignoring the demands of the Amazigh people, Sufian said. On Wednesday, the Supreme Amazigh Council called for a boycott of the forthcoming elections and said that any Amazigh who tried to stand for election or worked for the poll would be considered a traitor.
“We were neglected by the former regime,” Sufian said, adding that the new State of Libya needed to understand that matters relating to ethnic representation in the Constitutional Committee had to have the agreement of the representatives of the Amazigh community.
None of the Amazigh people wanted anything bad to happen to the country, Sufian said. “However, we have waited for a long time for our rights and now it is the time for the legally-elected GNC to take important measures regarding this,” he said.
Sufian described the Amazigh as the “conscience” of Libya and said they could save the country from falling into an abyss, because their aim was a unified Libya for all. [/restrict]