Libya's Berbers maintain boycott of charter drafting polls

Berbers, locally known as "Amazigh," are indigenous to North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They speak their own language, which has a multiplicity of local dialects.

Libya's Berbers maintain boycott of charter drafting polls

World Bulletin / News Desk

Libya's Berbers said on Thursday that they will maintain their boycott of the elections of their country's constitution-drafting panel as long as article 30 of country's constitutional declaration does not clearly recognize their cultural rights.

"A recent amendment of the article does not satisfy the minimum hopes of the Berbers," Ibrahim Makhlouf, the head of Libya's Supreme Berbers Council, told Anadolu Agency.

He said the article amendment does not clearly recognize either the Berbers' language or cultural identity in the Libyan state.

Makhlouf's statement comes only hours after Libya's election commission invited candidates to submit their applications to contest two constituent assembly seats designated for the Berbers.

Makhlouf said his council will hold elections soon to turn it into a representative, legitimate body for all Berbers across Libya.

He added that the elected administration of the council would then determine the Berbers' position toward the new constitution.

Berbers, locally known as "Amazigh," are indigenous to North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They speak their own language, which has a multiplicity of local dialects.

The Tuareg, another nomadic group of Libyans, along with Berbers, initially boycotted the constitution-drafting panel to protest against Article 30 of the constitutional declaration, which was issued by Libya's interim ruling council that ruled the country following the 2011 ouster and death of Muammar Gaddafi.

However, the subsequent amendment of the same article made it necessary for representatives of Libya's different social segments to approve all constitutional articles related to either their language or identity, prompting the Tuareg to end their boycott of the polls. 

Last Mod: 11 Nisan 2014, 10:31
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