Libyan tribes protest at new government line-up

Some of Libya's clans said on Wednesday they would not recognize the government, after the unveiling of a new cabinet revived regional rivalries which threaten the country's stability.

Prime minister designate Abdurrahim El-Keib named a cabinet line-up which aimed to placate Libya's patchwork of tribes, regional interests and ideological camps which are competing to fill the vacuum left by Muammar Gaddafi's fall from power.

There was no immediate sign of dissent over the cabinet from the most powerful interests - in particular the Islamists who were given none of the biggest government posts - but smaller groups complained they had been neglected.

About 150 people protested on Wednesday morning outside a hotel in the eastern city of Benghazi where the National Transitional Council has offices, a witness told Reuters.

The protesters held up banners saying: "No to a government of outsiders!," the witness said. The demonstration was led by members of the Benghazi-based Awagi and Maghariba tribes, who were angry their representatives were not in key posts.

A group calling itself the Libyan Amazigh Congress called for a suspension of all relations with the NTC over the formation of the government.

The Amazigh, or Berber, are an ethnic minority which suffered persecution under Gaddafi and which is pressing for greater recognition for its language and culture in the new Libya.

Western countries, which backed the revolt against Gaddafi and have a big stake in seeing his replacements succeed, welcomed the new government, saying it would guide the oil exporting country toward democracy.

(Source: Reuters)

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