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We have the same identity and cultural background

As a Libyan Tmazight speaker and activest, after a fast first over read of the 1999 Human Rights issued by the Libyan League for Human Rights - Germany and the1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released by U.S. Department of State recently, I felt sorry twice, first about and for the situation of human rights in - our beloved country - Libya and secondly because of the complete ignorance of the Libyan report of the continuous Libyan Amazighs sufferance. Meanwhile I noticed a slight development and improvement in how the American report handle the Amazigh (Berber) issue by adopting and using the term "Amazigh" instead of "Berber" as it was in previous years reports. But - I think - some more changes are needed in such report dealing with human rights, like the sticking to differentiating between the Amazighs and Tuaregs when Tuaregs are a group of Amazighs - They are complete and active members in the World Amazigh Congress.

Also, although the US report mentioned the Libyan regime discrimination against the Amazighs and its tight control exercising, it (the report) did not mention how the Libyan Amazighs are discriminated against. And I think what the Libyan Amazighs are exposed to is much more than discrimination and collective persecution, it can be called a sort of ethnic cleansing - For more details please look at my article in the last issue of "Shun Libyha / Libyan Affairs" magazine.

Both reports, and others, completely ignore the existence of the Abadhiya Islamic faith - the believe of the northern Libyan Amzigh speakers and the prevention and prohibition of any related activity of its followers.

During 1999's - so called election - or choosing of the secretariats of Basic Peoples Congresses and Peoples Committees many Libyan Amazigh speakers in Yefren, the second biggest town in Nfousa Mountain (al-Jabel al-Garbi,) were arrested, among them were some members of Association of North Africa, who were released in March 1988, with accusation of disturbing the public order. So the Amazigh speakers were prevented from choosing their representatives even by and through Gadafy's corrupted way.

And from 20 to 26 December 1999, after a quarrel between students in al-Jabel al-Garbi University in the town of Gherian, which had changed to clash between the students, only Tamzight speakers students were arrested at night and were released after couple of days, fearing from the unwanted consequence and after the students parents interference and giving commitments.

Finally, I think and believe that Libyans - and Northern Africans in general - have the same identity and cultural background. So I do not consider myself and other Tamazight speakers as an ethnic minority - as many do, like the American report - but, WE ARE LIBYAN TMAZIGHT SPEAKERS AND LIBYAN ARAB SPEAKERS, because I have never experianced that I am different from other Libyans nor the other Libyans treated me differently or as a stranger.

We shared most of the things yesterday, we are sharing it today and of course we will be sharing it tomorrow.

For any comments or inquires please contact me at e-mail:

Adrar Nfousa

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