By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 16 August:
A somber-faced Ian Martin, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya, has visited a new support centre for relatives of those who disappeared during the revolution. Families of the many hundreds of those still missing after the fighting can seek help and exchange experiences at the new facility.
In what is likely to be one of his last public engagements before he embarks on a round of farewell visits in advance of his 31 August departure, Martin listened to accounts of citizens who have missing family members, including a man whose five sons disappeared immediately after the Revolution.
As well as the organisers and representatives of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, the opening meeting of the centre was attended by 40 people, including families of the missing and members of the Sabha youth association.
In a statement, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya said: “The relatives all expressed hope that the new centre will provide them with a safe place to come together and talk about their experiences and plan campaigns to pressure the authorities to search for and identify their loved ones.”
The support centre, the first of its kind, has been set up by the ‘Mafqood‘ or ‘Missing’ campaign in partnership with the Free Generation Movement (FGM) and Creative Associates International, an organisation dedicated to supporting people around the world make positive changes.
Mafqood was founded by FGM and is run by a team of volunteers who input data on missing persons into a central database and offer support to friends and families of missing persons.
The support centre is headed by Dr. Mervat Mhani, a key activist in FGM. She has recently been appointed as Head of International Relations at the Ministry of Martyrs and the Missing, which seeks to help the search for missing persons through improved communications across the country.