By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 22 June 2017:
A group of activists and their families who tried to return to their homes in Tawergha today were forced back just a dozen kilometres from the town by Misratan militiamen who allegedly fired at them.
Despite the much-trumpeted agreement this week by Misrata municipal council and Tawergha council, endorsed by the Presidency Council (PC), approving a Tawerghan return, the convoy with some 110 former residents, including women and children, was forced to retreat after members of Misrata’s Zardah militia started shooting. The incident happened at Krarim, almost two thirds of the way between Misrata and Tawergha. The convoy had already traversed Misrata without incident.
Yousef Al-Zardah, who heads the militia, is supposed to be a member of the Misrata’s Tawergha dialogue committee.
Last week, the Tawerghan activists announced they intended to return to the ghost town today and from there issue a general call to rest of the 40,000-plus former residents to come home.
It was then on Monday that the PC had its high-profile ceremony unveiling the agreement between the Misrata and Tawergha councils on the Tawerghan right to return. But, as was pointed out at the time, there was still a sizable constituency in Misrata opposed to this ever happening. It was also suggested that far from supporting today’s attempt, the authorities were still opposed to it and that the agreement was attempt to stall it.
There were no officials from the PC’s government of national accord in the convoy – nor any from UNSMIL although it enthusiatically welcomed the agreement, with the outgoing UN special envoy Martin Kobler saying that it was now urgent that the Tawerghans be allowed to return home.