By Ahmed Elumami.
Tripoli, 27 August 2013:
Traffic near the General National Congress was brought to a standstill this morning as hundreds of . . .[restrict]Misratans who lost property and belongings during the devastating siege of the city in 2011demonstrated demanding the Congress speed up the compensation process.
Other protestors were expected Zawia, Zuwara and Ajdabiya but did not turn up, in the case of the former two because of the fragile security situation following the clashes between Zawaia and the Warshefana and, in the case of Ajdabiya, supposedly because of the distance.
According to Libya’s Liberation War Victims Association, there are 10,749 claims from Misratans who lost properties and belongings in the city as well as elsewhere in the country during the revolution.
Following meetings in May and June between the association, the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Economy, Mustafa Mohammed Abofanas, a committee had been formed to oversee a system to evaluate claims and decide payments, said Ahmed Abdulhadi Al-Gesh who was appointed to the association’s committee by Misurata Local Council. But nothing had happened so far.
“All we got from the meetings were just promises and I think that the files have been placed in garbage bins” said Al-Gesh.
In 2011, at the end of the revolution, damage in Misrata was put at LD 916 million while claims for Misratan losses elsewhere in Libya as a result of the fighting is put at LD 146 million. Al-Gesh told the Libyan Herald. The former figure, however, this is seen as a significant underestimation.
This is because that although it was agreed that compensation would cover farms, including animals, crops and agricultural equipment, as well as factories, companies and private vehicles and heavy machinery, there would be limits on claims for houses.
Only 60 percent of the value of homes damaged or destroyed would be paid, with an upper limit of LD 10,000, Al-Gesh explained.
What has disappointed and angered locals, he said, was that nothing was happening thanks to the negligence of government and silence of Congress. Problems were being exacerbated as ordinary citizens were being prevented from putting their lives back together.