Libya 'Could Fall Apart' as East Declares AutonomyWorld | March 6, 2012, Tuesday // 17:58| views
Map showing Libya's three great historic regions. Image by Wikipedia
Eastern Libya has declared autonomy from the rest of the country in a move that authorities in Tripoli had warned could destabilize the territorial integrity of the country.
Tuesdan in the main city of the Libyan east, Benghazi, leaders marked one year from the start of the uprising that ousted and eliminated long-term leader Muammar Gaddafi.
They also declared the petrol-rich eastern province to be semi-autonomous from the central government, asking for federalism.
Participants vowed to end what they saw as a decade-long marignalization of Eastern Libya within the country and appointed a council to manage the affairs of the region.
Ahmed Al-Zubair al-Senussi, long-time political prisoner during the Gaddafi regime and great-nephew to ex Libya king Idris, has been appointed to chair the council.
When built after the Second World War, Libya was formed by uniting the three provinces of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan.
The anti-Gaddafi revolt in 2011 was ignited predominantly in Benghazi in the east, Cyrenaica's main city and Libya's second-largest.
Libya's National Transitional Council, which has governed the country after the ousting of Gaddafi, albeit for a time seated in Benghazi, has repeatedly warned against autonomization of regions, arguing it would lead to a splitting of the country.
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