Displaced residents of Libya's Tawergha return home

June 7, 2018

Residents displaced from the Libyan town of Tawergha returned home on Tuesday (June 5), a few days after a reconciliation agreement was signed and over six years after they were forced to leave during the country's uprising.

The residents had been prevented from returning to what is now a ghost town, by Misratan armed groups, symbolizing years of political and communal divisions.

In 2011, forces from the nearby town of Misrata had chased the residents from their homes accusing them of supporting a military siege of their city by former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi.

Lengthy negotiations in the past, some backed by the internationally recognised government in Tripoli, had been thwarted after Misratan armed groups prevented families' entry, and blocked all roads leading to the town.

But on Sunday (June 3) leaders from both Misrata and Tawergha signed a reconciliation agreement which allowed for the return of families who had been living in camps across the country since the revolution.

Roughly 20 people returned on Tuesday (June 5) and cooked an iftar meal together, breaking their Ramadan fast in their hometown for the first time in over six years.

But families will have to wait a bit longer to resettle, with almost all of their homes ruined during the fighting, and with the town having no working infrastructure.

An estimated 40,000 people from Tawergha, 38 km (24 miles) south of the port city of Misrata, have been displaced in camps across Libya for more than six years.

jpost