By Mustafa Khalifa.
Ghat, 28 June 2015:
Representatives of Libya’s Tuareg and Tebu ethnic minorities are threatening to walk out of the Constitutional . . .[restrict]Drafting Assembly (CDA) in protest at what they say is discrimination against them.
In a statement today, they have announced their “total rejection” of the planned action committee which is to pull together the final draft of the constitution, and say they will not agree to anything it produces. They are are angry at the CDA’s insistence that there only needs to be one person on the committee to represent all the ethnic communities rather than separate Tebu and Tuareg representatives.
The refusal to accept the work of the committee threatens to derail any proposed constitution from the CDA. Under its rules, the text has to be approved by a “two-thirds plus one” majority of the members and with no veto from members representing the ethnic minorities.
Libya’s biggest ethnic minority, the Amazigh, boycotted the elections to the CDA, demanding that they should have more than two members although there are now links with it, but both the Tuareg and the Tebus took part and have two members each.
According to Ali Hamdan, one of the Tuareg representatives, other CDA members are arguing that his community as well as the Tebus and the Amazigh have the same demands and so do not need more than one person to put their case. The view has angered both the Tuareg and Tebus in the CDA who say that they are different, have different demands and that the majority representatives are being patronising. “We refused [to be part of the committee] stating that the demands from the two groups differ.”
Today’s joint statement accused the other CDA members of ignoring the revolution and returning to the oppression of the past. “This shows that the next constitution will not represent all Libyans” the statement read.
The action committee is supposed to contain four members from each of the country’s three historic regions – Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan – which each have 20 members on the CDA.
The row over the composition of the committee has managed to pull together the Tuareg and Tebus who have been increasingly polarised over clashes in the Obari area.