The UN’s Special Representative in Libya, Ian Martin, has called on the Libyan government and the NTC to improve living conditions . . .[restrict]in Sirte. He made the call after visiting the town last week to determine the extent of the damage suffered during the recent conflict. The city was extensively damaged by NATO raids and the final attacks by free Libyan forces in October.
Speaking on US-based Radio Sawa on Friday, Martin said the authorities must start rebuilding of the town. He praised the efforts of residents to bring life back to it.
Prior to the revolution, Sirte had a population of 75,000. It is estimated that because of the destruction less than 30 percent are still living there.
Over the years, the former dictator Muammar Qaddafi poured a fortune into the city which he claimed as his birth place. In 1999, he proposed it as the capital of a “United States of Africa”. In 2007, plans were announced for a new international airport and seaport. Last year, after the liberation of Tripoli last year, he declared in a radio address marking the 1st September anniversary of his own 1969 coup that Sirte has replaced Tripoli as the capital of the his Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.