By Hadi Fornaji
Tripoli, 8 May 20113:
Tawerghans are planning on 25 June, a potentially controversial mass return to their deserted and looted . . .[restrict]city, to the south of Misrata.
They have called for official support for the homecoming, as well as an escort of local and international organisations “in order to preserve lives, prevent bloodletting and ensure social peace”.
Elders and sheikhs from the Tawerghan community meeting at the Gar Younes refugee camp in Benghazi on Tuesday, said they were seeking an escort from the Libyan Observatory for Human Rights, the Libyan Society for Human Rights as well as the Libyan Aid Commission, the Red Crescent and Red Cross. They have also requested that they be provided with items such as tents, furniture and blankets, as well as field hospitals and medicine throughout the return journey. Tawerghan leaders also requested the help and support of tribes and communities along their route home.
In a statement, the Tawerghans said they had also invoked help from the United Nations, the Security Council, the European Union, the African Union, the Arab League and organisations in the Islamic world, to the peaceful return of civilians to their land and homes. It called on local, international and Arab media to cover the return of the people of Tawergha to their homes.
Some 35,000 people fled Tawergha during the revolution, the majority of whom ended up in refugee camps, principally in Benghazi. The people of Misrata believe their Tawerghan neighbours played a prominent role in Qaddafi’s failed assault on their city.