Thursday, April 21, 2011

Tuaregs on Libya

In the past few weeks news has been building up about the civil war in Libya that has taken the world stage and seems to be on the front of everyone's mind. We at Overworld Magazine have tried repeatedly to contact the Libyan Opposition, several tribes, even Muhammad al-Senussi, the current claimant to the Libyan throne. Just a few days ago we heard back from an old friend, an anonymous Tuareg officer in the Front des Forces de Redressment, who has many Tuareg counterparts in southern Libya and has even had the chance to meet mr. Muamar Qaddafi himself. The interview that followed sheds a great deal of light on the situation in Libya, and shows a path for the countries future.

First and foremost on my mind was the actual fighting. I wanted to know how things were going, and how the rebels felt about American intervention. Despite the chants around the world for the United States to not interfere in others affairs, the Tuareg's support intervention. It evens the playing field. The Tuareg officer told me, "The Libyan opposition forces feel reassured by American and British strikes. It is clear that any rebel movement with no logistical support from a power like the U.S. is doomed to failure, especially when the enemy, like Khadaffi, heavily armed and financially powerful. So without supports Western Libyan rebel lines go nowhere." My friend went on to tell about his situation in the bordering Niger, where a similar fight for Tuareg liberation has been taking place, and explaining the difference American support could make. It seemed clear to me that even the Tuareg's, who at one point got support from Qaddafi during their fight in Mali, felt that the regime must go.

From there we went to the future of Libya, where it seems that everyone sees a bright future in a new Libyan nation. Already France and Italy have recognized the National Transitional Council as the sole legitimate government of Libya, and they only have now to create a working system to control the vast country. Several times the FFR Tuareg officer stated that Libya would become a country representing each tribe equally, and obvious scar from Qaddafi's policy of favoring some tribes over others. "A future government should be a Libyan national unity government that reflects the multicultural identity... I believe that the Libyan opposition is for a multiparty system," he told me. He sees a Libya where Tuareg's, and Toubous, Berbers, and Arabs are all equal. A country free from King or Dictator.

It has become clear to me that NATO intervention is a good thing. We have sank our millions of dollars into Qaddafi's pockets, so we are responsible for what he does to his people. From there we can watch Libya shape into a free and fair country of many tribes and peoples working together. It was my good friend's final quote that had the biggest effect on me though. Words that show the very truth behind our efforts."I want to say to the world, and especially the western world, a great bravo, because without intervention in countries where there is much dictatorship, more innocents will be killed unjustly and that human rights will be trampled all over the world. I think a lot the role played by the Americans to give freedom and hope live to thousands of people around the world."

For more on the Front des Forces de Redressment, see their site at

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