By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 22 March 2015:
Tuaregs are demanding that Chief of Staff Major General Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri apologise for calling . . .[restrict]them “terrorists”.
In an interview on Friday, Nazhuri said that the current fighting in Obari is a war by the Libyan National Army (LNA) against terrorism.
The Social Council of the Tuaregs has strongly condemned Nazuri’s remark and is demanding an apology. His unsubstantiated remarks, said the council, undermined his objectivity and his credibility.
The Tuaregs called on the House of Representatives (HoR) and the government of Abdullah Al-Thinni to make make their position clear over what has been happening in Obari over the past six months.
Several members of the HoR have already expressed their disapproval of Nazhuri’s statement. The Dialogue Committee of the HoR condemned his “terrorist” reference saying that it negatively affected efforts to forge unity and peace.
HoR member and Tuareg representative Ibrahim Cranfoda said he was dismayed at what he said was Nazhuri’s politicizing of the conflict, adding, “All of us know this conflict is tribal in nature.”
HoR member Saleh Huma, who is one of the four official HoR representatives at the UN-brokered dialogue talks, said Nazhuri could not label an entire group of Libyans in this way.
The fight in Obari has been seen by many as mirroring the conflict between Operation Dignity and Libya Dawn along the coast.
Yesterday, a leading Tuareg commander in Obari was reported to have been killed in renewed fighting in the town between the pro-Libya Dawn Tuaregs and Tebu fighters loyal to the House of Representatives.
Fighting between Tebus and Tuaregs erupted in September when a pro-Libya Dawn Tuareg militia tried to take control of a local petrol station guarded by Tebus. A peace deal mediated by elders from local towns as well as by Zintanis later broke down.
Tuareg elders from Obari, as well as the town’s Tebus, have both pledged allegiance to the House of Representatives. The outcome of the current peace negotiations remains in doubt, as the Tuareg armed groups involved in the recent violence appear to be beyond the control of Tuareg elders. [/restrict]