국제앰네스티는 리비아 정부에 본국 남동부 쿠프라(Kufra) 지역 타부(Tabu)족 원주민들에 대한 “차별적인” 강제 퇴거 조치를 멈추라고 요구했다.
지난 4월 1일, 무장한 리비아 경찰이 본국 남동부 쿠프라 지역에 거주하는 타부(Tabu)족 거주지에 들어와 불도저로 5가구 이상의 원주민 거주지를 파괴했다. 이러한 강제적인 퇴거는 2009년 11월 이래로 계속돼 왔다.
집을 잃은 원주민들에게 대안으로 제공된 거처는 없으며, 많은 이들이 훼손된 집에서 위험하게 살아가고 있다.
이러한 퇴거 조치에 대해 리비아 정부 관료는 도로를 내기 위해서 필요한 조치였다고 밝혔으나, 타부족 원주민 공동체에 대한 차별적인 관행은 이뿐만이 아니다. 타부족 자녀들에 대해서 교육 당국이 학교 등록을 거부하기 때문에 학교 교육을 받는 것은 불가능한 상황이다. 여권을 갱신하거나 연장하는 일뿐만 아니라, 운전면허증 등 신원 증명서 발급도 거부당한다고 이들 원주민은 전한다. 때문에 임신한 여성들은 신원 증명서가 미비하다는 이유로 병원에서 치료를 못 받는 상황에 처하곤 한다.
국제앰네스티는 리비아 정부에 타부족에 대한 차별적인 관행을 멈출 것을 요청했다. 국제앰네스티 중동북아프리카국(局) 말콤 스마트 국장은 “강제적인 퇴거와 주거시설 파괴는 쿠프라와 그 일대에 사는 ‘타부족’ 공동체에 리비아 정부가 행한 여타의 차별 정책들과 함께 이뤄진 것”이라며, “리비아 정부가 이들을 위한 대안적 주택이나 임시 거주지를 제공해야 한다”고 말했다.
한편, 부족언어를 사용하는 타부족은 나이지리아, 수단, 차드에 인접한 리비아 남동부의 쿠프라 지역에 사는 것으로 알려졌으나, 인구에 대한 공식적 통계는 존재하지 않는다.
Libya must stop forced evictions of Tabu tribe members
Tuesday 6 April 2010
Scores of Tabu families have lost their homes since November 2009 and it appears that many more evictions may be planned. Amnesty International has urged the Libyan authorities to stop the “discriminatory” forced evictions of members of the Tabu tribe in the south-east of the country, after five more families had their homes demolished last week.
Armed security personnel used bulldozers to evict members of the Tabu community in the city of Kufra on Thursday. Scores of Tabu families have lost their homes since November 2009 and it appears that many more evictions may be planned.
“These forcible evictions and house demolitions come on top of other discrimination by the Libyan authorities against members of the Tabu community in Kufra and its surrounding areas,” said Malcolm Smart, Amnesty International’s director for the Middle East and North Africa.
“Some Tabu families have told us that their children can no longer attend school because the authorities refuse to register them, while others complain that pregnant women have been denied treatment at hospitals because they lack official identity documents.”
Discriminatory measures against the Tabu community have included refusing to renew or extend passports and other identification documents, including driving licences. In other cases, parents were not allowed to register the birth of their children and were denied birth certificates.
There are no official statistics on the number of members of the Tabu community in Libya. Most are believed to live in Kufra and the surrounding regions in south-eastern Libya, close to the borders with Chad, Niger and Sudan. They have their own spoken language called Tabu.
In November 2009, Libyan security officials are reported to have ordered that the identification documents of all members of the Tabu community under the age of 18 should be confiscated and that they should not be permitted to travel.
The same month, an official letter ordered the demolition of 730 “unsanitary houses” in three predominantly Tabu neighbourhoods, without making any provision for the families affected to be offered alternative housing or emergency accommodation.
Dozens of people are reported to have been arrested since November for attempting to prevent the demolitions. They were only reportedly released by the Libyan Internal Security Agency after they agreed to sign a document saying that they would not oppose the demolitions.
Some of the families evicted were given only minutes to leave their homes. Others received a few hours’ notice that their houses would be destroyed when they were marked with a cross the day before the bulldozers moved in.
Those who resisted were reportedly beaten with sticks by security officials or threatened with high-pressure hoses by firefighters.
In some cases, law enforcement officials are said to have destroyed furniture inside the houses.
Families have told Amnesty International that those evicted were neither consulted in advance about the decision to evict them, nor offered alternative housing. Some have still not been able to find alternative housing and live in the ruins of their former homes without shelter.
Tabu community leaders are reported to have been informed by local officials in June 2009 that some house demolitions were planned but without other details, including when or how many dwellings would be destroyed.
The officials said the demolitions were needed to make way for a road and that they were acting on instructions “from above”.
“If the homes that have been demolished or others that face demolition are indeed unsafe, the Libyan authorities must provide the families affected with appropriate alternative housing or else emergency accommodation,” said Malcolm Smart.
“There must also be a process of genuine consultation with residents of all designated ‘unsanitary houses’ in the affected areas in Kufra and to explore all feasible alternatives to evictions.”