Libya: Berbers protest at Eni's Mellitah plant

They demand constitutional rights, threaten shutdown

28 October, 16:42

    One of the Eni's plant in Libya One of the Eni's plant in Libya

    (ANSAmed) - TRIPOLI - A group of 20 armed men from the indigenous minority Amazigh or Berber people have threatened to shut down a Libyan oil terminal operated jointly with Italy's ENI unless their demands for more constitutional rights are met, sources close to the situation told ANSA on Monday.
    The protest began Saturday night at the Mellitah complex, a joint venture between ENI and Libya's state National Oil Corporation near the port city of Zuwara. The Berbers are calling for more representation on the Constituent Assembly, where they hold just two out of 60 seats, and for official recognition of their language, Tamazight, in the new Constitution along with Arabic.
    After talks with the General National Congress (GNC) energy committee, the Amazigh protesters have agreed to give authorities a week before shutting down the plant.
    ''Mellitah is running normally at the moment, and peaceful negotiations with the protesters are ongoing'', the sources explained.
    The Amazigh on Wednesday had threatened to boycott municipal as well as Constituent Assembly elections. Along with the Tebu and the Tuareg indigenous peoples, the Berbers were marginalized under the previous regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. (ANSAmed).

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