By Mohamed Najah.
Tripoli, 19 June 2013:
British ambassador Michael Aron was at the Tawergha refugee camp in Tripoli’s Janzour . . .[restrict]suburb on Monday to meet with members of Tawergha Local Council as well as Tawergha elders and ordinary Tawerghan families living in the camp.
He was briefed by the refugees and was shown the conditions at the camp.
The issue of the displaced Tawerghans was a matter of concern to both the Libyan government and the international community, Aron said.
The Janzour camp, a former naval academy, is one of a number of places in Libya where Tawerghans were “temporarily” resettled after they were forced out of their town by forces from Misrata who accused them of being Qaddafi supporters and having been involved in atrocities during its siege in 2011.
It is estimated that over a thousand of them – about 220 families – fled to the Janzour camp where they are now are living in extremely difficult conditions.
Tawergha itself is now a ghost-town, much of it in ruins. Last month, however, many Tawerghans demonstrated outside the General National Congress demanding official support for their return home. They plan to do so, supported or unsupported, on 25 June.
There is growing concern about the plan which Misratans have said they plan to block. The head of the UN Mission in Libya, Tarek Mitri this week told the UN Security Council that it was “a move fraught with risks”
For his part, Aron said that the British government is concerned about the families of Tawergha and the town itself. “It’s an important human rights issue,’ he told the Libya Herald. “Collective punishment is unacceptable.” He said that he had wanted to see the conditions that Tawerghans were living under.
He said he also planned to go to Misrata, and help with reconciliation if possible.
“We will go to Misrata in the upcoming days and will try to find a solution for this problem. I have already spoken to the local council in Misrata and others, such as Abdurrahman Sewehli, about this major case that has been ongoing since the end of the revolution.”