Eastern Libya declares autonomy
Cyrenaica, the eastern region of Libya, has elected a regional congress and declared semi-autonomy from the capital Tripoli. The “blatant call for fragmentation” of the country was condemned by Libya’s ruling NTC.
Thousands of major tribal leaders and militia commanders attended a celebratory ceremony in the region’s center Benghazi on Tuesday.
The congress stated that Cyrenaica had suffered decades of marginalization under the ouster ruler Muammar Gaddafi. Now the oil-rich region extending from the coastal city of Sirte to Egyptian border is taking its fortunes into its own hands.
The congress appointed Ahmed al-Zubair Ahmed, who was a political prisoner under Gaddafi and currently is a member of NTC, as leader of its governing council. Despite being a part of the Libya’s official ruling body, Al-Zubair pledged to protect the rights of the eastern region.
Libya’s National Transitional Council, which started uprising against Gaddafi in Benghazi and moved to Tripoli after his overthrow, repeatedly voiced objection to the planned autonomy. They said Libya’s transformation into a federal state paves the way to eventual split-up of the North African country.
“This is a blatant call for fragmentation,” said Fathi Baja, the head of political committee of the NTC. “We reject it in its entirety. We are against divisions and against any move that hurts the unity of the Libyan people.”
The head of the NTC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said the call for autonomy is a foreign plot. “I regret to say that these (foreign) countries have financed and supported this plot that has arisen in the east,” he told reporters. “I call on my brothers, the Libyan people, to be aware and alert to the conspiracies that are being plotted against them and to be aware that some people are dragging the country back down into a deep pit.”
The East, however, is pushing for a return to a system of rule that existed before the coup of 1967 which brought Gaddafi to power. At the time Libya was divided into three states – western Tripolitania, south-western Fezzan and the eastern Cyrenaica (or Barqa in Arabic).
A co-founder of the move for autonomy, Abu Bakr Baaira, pointed out that a federal system did not lead to a division of such countries as the US and Germany.
“Are the US, Switzerland and Germany divided?” Baaira said. “We hope they don’t force us to a new war and new bloodshed. This is the last thing we look for.”
Barqa will follow a peaceful way of making Tripoli and the NTC recognize its autonomy. Baaira does not rule out a possibility of going to the UN for such recognition.
The Easterners have already formed their own army, the Barqa Supreme Military Council, which is independent from the NTC. The army is made up from revolutionaries who fought against Gaddafi rule last year. And now the forces are ready to fight for autonomy, Barqa commander Col. Hamid Al-Hassi says.
“Even if we had to take over the oil fields by deploying our forces there or risk another war, we will not hesitate for the sake of Barqa,” Hassi told the Associated Press.
It is unclear how many Easterners really support the idea of autonomy. Although some 5,000 people have reportedly taken part in the “Congress of the People of Cyrenaica” ceremony, several thousand were protesting against it in Benghazi on Monday.
Libya seems to be falling apart as the NTC is trying to work out a new electoral law ahead of the parliamentary elections in June. The latest draft of the law allocates only 60 seats in the country’s 200-member National Council to the East, while the West will have 102 representatives. The “Congress of the People of Cyrenaica” has rejected this latest draft, apparently due to its discriminatory nature.
Libya’s east-west divide: Breakup inevitable?
A painful breakup between eastern and western Libya is a real threat to the future of the country, believes Eric Denece, the director and founder of the French Centre for Intelligence Studies.
“From the very beginning Abdul al-Jalil, the head of the National Transitional Council, and his crew have done everything to create such a breakup between western and eastern Libya,” he said.
But this kind of outcome was written a long time ago even before the revolution began, Denece believes.
For a long time Cyrenaica ruled the country under King Idris, before Gaddafi came to power and the people of eastern Libya wanted to take revenge and lead the country, Denece says. But after ousting Gaddafi they understood they are unable to hold power over the entire country and decided to “keep their riches” to themselves.
“They don’t want to share the oil with the people of Fezzan and Tripolitania,” Denece says.
Denece believes that the whole world is closely watching the situation in Libya, especially Egypt and the Gulf countries, which have always had their own interests in oil-rich Cyrenaica.
“Egypt always had an ambition for this part of Libya and it’s only because of Italian colonization that Cyrenaica belongs to Libya and not to Egypt,” he explained. “And on the other side I believe that countries like Qatar and Saudi Arabia will be very pleased if they can create a new oil monarchy in Cyrenaica.”
Interview with Abayomi Azikiwe
Abayomi Azikiwe, the editor of Pan-African News Wire, believes that there will never be unity in war-torn Libya. He told RT there was no political program that would reunite all the various opposition groups led by anti-Gaddafi forces and backed by the US and NATO.
“The only program they really had was removing Gaddafi from power. So there is nothing really to forge any type of national unity inside of Libya right now.”
The journalist blames Western interference for the unstable situation Libya now finds itself in and believes that the war has done more to destabilize Libya and all of North Africa. “The West intervened in sectional conflict that was taking place inside the country. They had, in fact, armed the opposition groups for decades just waiting for the opportunity to come in and engineer this type of regime change.”
Reloaded and Published by LibyanFreePress.net
Any re-publication is appreciated, as long as, please, you always report all the original links, to allow everyone a better research and spread of free information. Thanks.
Ogni ri-pubblicazione è gradita, ma vi chiediamo solo, per cortesia, di riportare tutti i links e riferimenti contenuti, per una migliore ricerca e diffusione a tutti. Grazie
I think that Russia has a historical problem of military intervention. Majority of Russian generals were soviet soldiers in Afganistan during 80s, and they know how great disaster was this intervention for their homeland USSR. 16.000 soviet soldiers were killed, country became totally bankrupted and because of young boys who came home in a coffin, social unrests erupted in all parts of soviet state. USSR collapsed and one of the reasons for that disaster was military intervention in Afganistan. So I don`t think that they will go to Libya.
we will publish your points of view and the point of view of Larry Jones in the next post, tomorrow.
thank you brother
As I wrote in my blog, it was not possible to successfully change a regime in Libya without the referendum for free elections, that had never had chance to happen in Libya. Instead, Western intervention hurried to prevent the referendum for free elections, in order to hinder the possible outcome of the results that could be more favorable for Jamahiriya that they wanted it to seems. The present political developments in Libya just proves this statement. I agree with Mr. Larry Jones, and I think that it is not possible to “cut corners” in history, without allowing people to speak for themselves and choose their form of government through referendum, instead of calling for foreign drones and bombs from the street. It is a shame that that veto never happened even knowing that the only valid mean of political change, referendum, is not even considered first. Attacking the sovereign country without letting her having the monitored free referendum, was nothing else but throwing dust in eyes of half intelligent public opinion, and exercising of brutal naked power. I can only say, that I hope that what goes around will come around.
I TOTALLY AGREE WITH LARRY JONES. SAADI GADDAFI CAN MEET UP WITH PREZ. PUTIN N STRIKE A DEAL. FOR FUTURE LIBYA SECURITY, RUSSIA MUST HAVE A NAVAL BASE IN LIBYA WATERS, JUST LIKE SYRIA. THESE 2 NAVAL BASE CAN CHECK FILTHY NATO ACTIVITIES. LIBYANS WILL WELCOME RUSSIAN AS THE GREEN CHARTER IS BASE ON ISLAMIC SOCIALISM. ISLAM RELIGION IS UNIVERSAL, IT HAS SOCIALISM, CAPITALISM BUT NOT PROFITEERING, ISLAMIC BANKING, ECONOMY, AGRIGARIAN SYSTEM ETC. GOD WILLING, SUCH MOVE WILL COME TRUE. I WROTE EARLIER IN OZYISM ON THIS MOVE N DEVELOPMENT. INSHA ALLAH, AAMIIIIN, WASSALAM. FROM, SERVE2LEAD TO PEACE N EQUALITY.
Russia can now redeem itself for its error in abstaning on those resolutions. The Libyan Jamahiriya’s cause is totally just. Differences that existed can be worked out later. But, for now, the Jamahiriya must be restored. Once it is restored, THEN Libyans can decided whether they want to keep the Jamahiriya, or discard it and replace it with some other system.
But Libyans did not make the decision to remove the Jamahiriya–Europeans (and Euro-Americans) did. So, Libya has the moral duty to restore the Jamahiriya back to its governing position. And Libya has a duty to itself, for reasons of pride.
Libya should not allow it to continue that it was FORCED, by the Eurospeans, Americans, and Qataris, to change its government. That is a decision to be made by Libyans, not by outsiders.
I ask again: The appropriate Jamahiriya officers must go to Russia and secure an alliance, including a MILITARY alliance, with Russia. The Jamahiriya, the only legal government of Libya, has the right, as a legal government, to ask Russia to send 500,000 soldiers to Libya for the purpose of fighing alongside the Green Resistance until all rats are either killed, captured and imprisoned, or deported from Libya forever.
The world will not object. The world will applaud.
It can be an opportunity, I agree with you.
We will se what colonel Putin can do, we will se what Green Resistance officers have in mind, we will see what the actual political and military situation can permit to do, between Syria and Libya.
Syria is a most important strategic place for Russia than Libya, but every option is open on the table, now that colonel Putin is in charge.
Thank you brother.
If the Jamahiriya has any strength left (and I hear that it does), then its members should approach Russia and establish an alliance. Jamahiriya officers must not thinking that they “can’t” establish such relations, or that Russia would object.
The Jamahiriya is the legitimate government that was overthrown forcibly. Jamahriya officers should go to Russia and ask that Russia send 100,000 troops to fight along with the Green Resistance, for the purpose of defeating the rats and restoring the Jamahiriya to its rightful place. The U.S., in my opinion, will not lift a finger if Russian troops show up en masse.
The U.S. will posture and huff and puff, but it would not do anything. One reason is that this is an election year. And, although the U.S. government generally doesn’t give a care about public opinion, this time is different. Obama doesn’t want to risk losing votes by involving the U.S. in another war. The Americans citizens are sick and tired of war.
So, this is the time for Jamahiriya officers to stand up as the rightful representives of Libya that they are. The Jamahiriya is a legitimate governments. Legitimate governments have the right to make treaties and alliances with other governments.
Everyone on earth, due to the Internet, knows that the Jamahiriya was displaced by force. The world would applaud the intervention of Russia for a JUST CAUSE: Restoring the Jamahiriya to the position that was so viciously taken away from it, that is, from THE PEOPLE.
Do not assume that Putin would deny such an alliance. Do not assume that. This is only my opinion, that’s all.
This–right now–is the time to move. The rats are planning an election. Some tribes (supposedly) have organized themselves, in the east, to form Barqa. The NTC can’t govern. Libya is without government, except for the Jamahiriya. Ask Russia to send 100,000 troops [500,000 is even better]