Tripoli, 30 November:
A convoy loaded with humanitarian supplies was dispatched to Bani Walid on Wednesday, the head of the Bani Walid Crisis Management Committee has said.
Aboard the trucks were food and clothing for children, along with a large quantity of mattresses, blankets, cleaning products and other household equipment.
Maher Daub said that the Crisis Management Committee would be sending further convoys to Bani Walid in the coming weeks and months to provide assistance to the population in the aftermath of October’s siege and capture of the town.
Daub admitted that a large number of public facilities and private property had been damaged during the fighting, during which as many as 25,000-40,000 of the town’s estimated 80,000 population fled.
After the town officially fell on 24 October, the government announced the creation of three emergency committees to deal with the fallout of the conflict, one for security, the second for the resumption of essential services and the third for the return of refugees.
Supplies inside the town quickly ran low following the onset of the siege at the beginning of October, with residents reporting food and fuel shortages together with a loss of electricity.
Humanitarian organisations including the International Committee of the Red Cross were able to provide limited relief, with access to the town frequently restricted by the fighting.
Hundreds of people are reckoned to have been wounded or killed in the conflict, which was triggered on 25 September following the death of Omran Shaban, the Misratan revolutionary credited with first discovering Muammar Qaddafi in October 2011 in a drainage pipe in Sirte.
Shaban was captured in Bani Walid in July, having been shot when his vehicle allegedly failed to stop at a checkpoint into the town. It is alleged he was tortured whilst in custody before his eventual release on 13 September.
The town was widely perceived as the last bastion of pro-Qaddafi sentiment in Libya, and was home to many former regime loyalists who fled there at the end of last year’s revolution.