Eastern Libyans declare autonomous government
By ESAM MOHAMED Associated Press October 24, 2013 2:58PM
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — The leaders of a movement for self-rule in oil-rich eastern Libyan have unilaterally announced the formation of a shadow government, the latest challenge to the weakened central authority.
The announcement came several months after the movement, backed by some militias and local tribes, declared the eastern half of Libya to be an autonomous state, named Barqa, claiming broad self-rule powers and control over resources. The central government in Tripoli rejected the declaration.
Abd-Rabbo al-Barassi, the head of the newly declared Barqa government, said Thursday the aim is to improve distribution of resources and undermine the hold of the centralized system that has discriminated against their region.
Pro-autonomy militiamen have taken control of multiple oil facilities in the east, disrupting the country’s exports.