Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

People of Toubou Seeking Independence in Libya | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Libyan soldiers after fighting in clashes with extremists – Reuters

Libyan soldiers after fighting in clashes with extremists – Reuters

Libyan soldiers after fighting in clashes with extremists – Reuters

Tripoli- Official Libyan sources, located in Tripoli, told Asharq Al-Awsat that close affiliates to the leaders of the Toubou people, like advisor Issa Abdelmajid, are looking into the tribe settling independently south of Libya, establishing their own borderline state with the Republic of Chad.

Sources close to the clan leader, who recently visited multiple European and African countries over the past few days, have discussed the possibility of the Toubou people attaining independence, acquiring their own state near the borders with Egypt, Sudan and Chad.

The capital of the newly-founded state would either be the city of Kufra, located southeast Libya, or Rebiana, located 140 Km north of Kufra, which is notoriously rich with both gold and oil.

Official sources said that the people of Toubou have suffered massive damage because of the security instability ravaging Libya since 2011. Moreover, tribal leaders believe that the people of Libya cannot depend on the international community for Libyan stability to be reinstated.

Internal disputes are further widening the rift, especially with Arab Libyan legislators refusing to declare the cultural rights the Toubou people are entitled to, and have them added to the new-to-be constitution.

Ever since former Libyan Prime Minister Muammar Gaddafi was removed from authority, the struggle has been stretching out. Ethnic diversities in Libya are proving controversial. Among the ethnicities disputed upon are the Amazighs tribe (Berbers), residing west of Tripoli, and the Tuareg people living southwest Libya.

All ethnic groups have so far abstained from all the works on the lawmaking sessions, in a protest against Arab Libyans dominating the whole constitution establishment process. The people of Toubou represent over half a million of the population, and their tribe extends to neighboring countries, especially in Chad and Niger.

Asharq Al-Awsat attempted to contact Abdelmajid to register whether he is involved in the deliberations on establishing a Toubou new state; however, he refused to comment on the subject. Yet, sources point out that Abdelmajid, over the past few days, had made several visits to some countries, including Chad and Senegal.