Libya: Stateless Tuareg demand rights and inclusion ahead of elections

Published: 11/Sep/2021
Source: Middle East Eye

Communities are taking action as they challenge decades of discrimination at the hands of national and local authorities

By Thomas McGee

As Libya’s much-anticipated 24 December general elections edge closer, the last month has seen an intensification of frustration and mobilisation among the country’s Tuareg minority.

The community, which has long suffered discrimination, fears exclusion from the electoral process, and resents the fact that its decades-long marginalisation has yet to be addressed.

The presidential and parliamentary elections have already been delayed twice over the last three years due to conflict and political instability.

With the formation of the interim Government of National Unity (GNU) in March, the country has now embarked on a path towards repairing national divisions, yet the historic exclusion of certain sections of Libya’s population from citizenship and political participation remains.

Responding to the concerns, last month civil society organisers from within the Tuareg community mounted a demonstration in the southwestern town of Ubari.

Those attending the 14 August event listened attentively as the organisers, the Anti-Discrimination Movement (Hirak La Lil-Tameez), read out a statement of condemnation directed towards the country’s political elite.

Referencing the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, which had taken place earlier in the week, they criticised the Presidential Council and leadership of the GNU for “continued and direct exclusion of an indigenous component of the Libyan people”.

Prominent actors, such as parliamentarian Rabiya Aburas and the Supreme Council of Libya’s Amazigh minority, responded with statements of solidarity.

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, Nationality and Elections, Statelessness
Regions: Libya
Year: 2021