Group declares self-govt for east Libya

2013-06-03 09:28


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - The leader of a political group in Libya's oil-rich Cyrenaica province declared it a self-governing region in a speech on Saturday, evidence of growing pressure for a planned new constitution to adopt a federal structure.

Ahmed Zubair al-Senussi, head of the Cyrenaica Council and a distant relative of Libya's last king, has no formal authority under current transitional arrangements and it is not clear how he would be able to implement the declaration on the ground.

His council, however, is representative of factions in the east that have become more unified by concerns over how to establish the rule of law in a country awash with weapons and rival militias two years after the end of the war to depose Muammar Gaddafi.

The national assembly in Tripoli said it would form a committee to examine the declaration by Senussi, which included promises to form a new parliament and security force for the region.

"As of today, Cyrenaica is a federal region within the framework of the Libyan state," Senussi said in a speech to a rally in the eastern town of al-Marj. "Cyrenaica will activate the 1951 constitution and establish a parliament."

Calls for federal rule have become more vocal since Gaddafi's overthrow in 2011, fuelled by familiar complaints in the east of the country that it has not been given a fair share of Libya's wealth and the weakness of the central government.

But Senussi gave no timeline for implementing his proposals and called for the Tripoli government, which is leading the nation as it prepares to write a new constitution, to transfer money to the region.

For about 10 years after it became an independent state in 1951, Libya was run along federal lines, with power devolved to Cyrenaica, the southern province of Fezzan, and Tripolitania in the west of the country.

Libya centralised its government in the last years of the rule of King Idris, and Gaddafi accelerated the process when he came to power in a military coup in 1969.

The eastern city of Benghazi was the cradle of the 2011 uprising but residents now complain of Tripoli's inability to provide security by disarming militias or moving towards writing a constitution.

Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.