By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 18 December 2017:
Misrata has begun three days of mourning following the assassination of its mayor, Mohamed Eshtewi, last night. Funeral prayers are to be held at the Sports City at 18.00 hours.
The local municipal council expressed its “deep sorrow and grief” at the killing. Its condemnation was swiftly followed by similar statement from other municipalities, including Sabratha, Central Tripoli and Zliten.
Condemnation and condolences have also come from the State Council, whose president Abdulrahman Sewehli is from Misrata.
Presidency Council deputy Ahmed Maetig, also from Misrata, praised Eshtewi’s courage, pointing to the murdered mayor’ss efforts to help further national reconciliation and build a stable country. Seven years on from the revolution, Maetig lamented that Libya was still “bleeding”.
“These failed attempts on our brothers to target the stability of the state will only serve as a catalyst to return Libya’s safety,” he added.
UN envoy Ghassan Salamé condemned the murder and said Eshtewi was focused on establishing peace and strengthening Misrata and Libya.
British ambassador Peter Millett said he was “deeply saddened” by the “senseless murder” of a man who had “worked hard to serve his people”. The Italian mission to Libya echoed Millett’s sentiment.
At this moment in time, the motives for the assassination remain unclear or who was behind it. The brother of Eshtewi, Ahmed, remains in a serious but stable condition in Misrata Central Hospital’s intensive care unit.
So far there has been no statement from anywhere in the east of the country, nor from Zintan and Bani Walid municipalities, rivals to Misrata.