Libya: Eastern region wants autonomy

Both tribal and militia leaders in eastern Libya declare their intention to be semi-autonomous within Libya. Thousands of representatives announced the move in a ceremony in Benghazi the main city in the east.

The group seeks to gain more power within Libya. The region has many oil riches that local groups no doubt wish to control and profit from. The new region would stretch from the eastern border with Egypt to the central coastal city of Sirte in the west.

An Al Jazeera reporter said:"It is certainly significant, but we need to put it into context: first of all, they have announced the formation of a new regional council, and this will actually take a couple weeks to form,""At this stage, they say they would like independence, but they have not declared independence. At this stage they haven't even declared a degree of semi autonomy."

An NTC election law that allocates 60 seats for the eastern region out of 200 for the whole country was rejected by the group. The NTC (National Transitional Council) opposes any autonomy for the eastern region. The NTC worries that this could lead to the ultimate break-up of Libya. In the past the eastern region had been a separate country.

A representative of the NTC said that the eastern leaders were simply looking for political power whereas ordinary people want a unified Libya. He said:"Well obviously, all Libyans have the right to express their opinion. But the fact is, for Libyans to consider such a split in the country and its governance, I think it is clearly not advisable. The Libyan people will not stand for it," The rebellion against Gadaffi was centered in eastern Libya partly because many felt that the central government had too much control. Now the same alienation is being expressed against the new government. For more see this article. northsunm32 is based in Brandon, Manitoba,


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