Libya’s Tuareg find a new home in coastal Amazigh enclave

Published: 30/Nov/2018
Source: Middle East Eye

Despite the hardships, thousands of Tuaregs are settling down in Zuwara, fleeing the war and misery of their restive region

By Karlos Zurutuza

ZUWARA, Libya – It’s not easy to sweep the streets of a city in constant struggle with the beach. When it rains, it’s mission impossible – how does a street cleaner deal with that compact mixture of sand, dust and garbage? These are some of the questions Mohammed Ayssa has been asking himself for the past three years.


‘Officially we don’t exist’

At 28, Hassan Mohamed combines sporadic jobs to survive with his work in the Tuareg Committee, a recently set up umbrella organisation for this displaced community.

Mohamed speaks of 120 registered families, but he insists there are many more. As if hunger and misery were not enough, administrative obstacles also add to the drama.

“One of the main problems we face is that many of us do not have a passport or the ID most Libyans have since 2011. Officially we don’t exist, and that is obviously a big hurdle when it comes to receiving medical attention or sending children to school,” explains Mohamed from the tiny apartment he shares with Aysha, his mother.

The 50-year-old woman suffers from both diabetes and stomach problems. She says she’d need to receive treatment abroad, but that’s not an option without papers.

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Themes: Discrimination, Ethnic/Racial/Religious, Statelessness
Regions: Libya
Year: 2018