By Libya Herald reporter.
Tripoli, 12 August 2015:
On the fourth anniversary of Tawerghans’ mass eviction from their home town, Misrata Municipal Council . . .[restrict]spokesman Usama Badi has claimed they had left Tawergha voluntarily and “out of their desire”.
Badi, moreover, said that, given the poor security situation in Tawergha now, “it’s too soon for them to return”.
In summer 2011, nearly 30,000 people living in Tawergha were driven out of their homes by Misratan militias, in what is generally regarded as an act of revenge for their active support of the Qaddafi regime during the revolution in the siege of Misrata. Many Misratans have remained firmly opposed to their return, although opposition is seen as slowly evaporating.
However, in a television statement, Badi has now denied reports of any “deal for Tawergha residents to be returned before the end of year”.
This contradicts earlier statements from Misrata to that effect. In January, as part of an early shift of Misrata’s allegiances, its municipal council agreed that Tawerghans should be allowed to return home. Then in May, as part of the Libya Dialogue peace talks, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) brokered a deal between Misrata and the Tawerghans allowing a return.
Badi claimed that no actual deal had been done and that all that had been agreed was to set up joint committees to look into the issue.
“One committee is to study the possibility of Tawerghans to return, and the other to take care of Tawergha detainees in Misrata,” he stated.
He called for the case of “displaced Tawerghans” to be recognised as a national issue because, “it cannot be addressed only by the city of Misrata”. [/restrict]