Tripoli, Oct 27: An armed group from Berber minority community shut down the Italian-led oil company ENI’s pipelines in Mellitah Saturday evening, a source said.
“About 75 armed men from Zuwara stopped Italian-led oil company ENI’s ship 7 km off the Mellitah coast, demanding to stop their activities,” Xinhua quoted a source as saying.
The source said that one of the armed group got on board the ENI’s ship and met the captain who immediately surrender. No clashes were reported and the group took control of the terminals at the sea.
The action was carried out in order to push Liby’s parliament to change the constitutional draft over the voting system.
“We request that any issue related to the Libyan minority group has to be approved by all the representatives of Berber community,” the source said.
Berbers demand inclusion of their language, Tamazigh, in the future Libyan constitution. The community represents about 10 percent of the Libyan population and they are mainly located in the western mountains of Libya and in the southern desert.
Their rights have been completely neglected during the former Gaddafi regime, leading them to play a fundamental role against the dictatorship in the 2011 uprising. Berbers complain to have been dimessed from the revolutionaries comrades shortly after the end of the fightings.
In July 2013, the Berbers withdrew their representatives from the GNC to protest against marginalisation.
Berbers recently allied with other Libyan minority groups, Tebou and Tuareg, to force the review of the constituent assembly’s voting system concerning subjects related to the Libyan minority groups.