Chiefs or representatives of 61 tribes from across Libya called Wednesday for an end to MuammarGaddafi’s rule, in a joint statement released by French writer Bernard-Henri Levy. « Faced with the threats weighing on the unity of our country, faced with the manoeuvres and propaganda of the dictator and his family, we solemnly declare: Nothing will divide us, » said the text, drawn up in Benghazi on April 12.
« We share the same ideal of a free, democratic and united Libya, » it said.
« The Libya of tomorrow, once the dictator has gone, will be a united Libya, with Tripoli as its capital and where we will at last be free to build a civil society according to our own wishes, » it predicted.
A well-known intellectual in France, Levy has become an unofficial spokesman for the Libyan revolt in Paris and is credited with pressing President Nicolas Sarkozy to mobilise international political and military support for it.
He told AFP the statement had been prepared in the eastern rebel bastion of Benghazi, but had been circulated around the country, and had now been endorsed by many influential tribal leaders in areas where Gaddafi still holds sway.
« Each of the tribes in Libya is represented by at least a representative. In this list of 61 signatures, some tribes are represented 100 percent, others are still divided, » he said.
Levy has published the statement on the website of his magazine, La Regle du Jeu, including scans of the original handwritten signatures in Arabic.
« We form, we the Libyans, a single and united tribe — the tribe of free Libyans, battling against oppression and the wicked genie of division, » it reads, according to the French translation of the text.