By Libya Herald staff:
Tripoli, 23 November 2013:
Doubt is being cast on claims that 30 Tawerghans have flown to Germany with the . . .[restrict]intention of settling there.
The German embassy says that it has no information about any Tawerghan family having sought asylum in the country. Additionally, any applications for Schengen visas from an entire family would set alarm bells ringing, a European diplomat from the Schemgen area told the Libya Herald.
Applications for asylum in Germany, as in other European state, cannot be made in Libya. They have to be made in the stat itself.
According to a member of the Tawergha Social Network Committee, Saad Saleh, some dozen Tawerghan families had already gone to Germany with the aim of subsequently obtaining German citizenship. They had been helped to get to Germany, he claimed, by human rights organisations.
He did not name them.
He said that they had gone because of their despair at being unable to return home and having to live as refugees in camps across the country as well as being discriminated against, especially when trying to find a job, and being subjected to attacks.
A Tawerghan man was killed and three others were injured in the Fellah refugee camp in Tripoli a week ago by gunmen.
Earlier this year, Human Rights Watch called on the Libyan government to provide protection for the four major Tawerghan camps in Tripoli. In June, it said the continued forced displacement of the Tawerghans was a crime against humanity.
Some 40,000 Tawerghans fled their hometown in August 2011 when the town was attacked by Misratan forces in revenge for having supported the attacks on Misrata during the revolution. It is now a ghost town.
Last June, the Tawerghans had decided unilaterally to return to it, sparking a crisis when some Misratans said they would oppose it by force if necessary. Following appeals by the government, elders and the Grand Mufti, the Tawerghans cancelled plans at the last minute. There has been little progress since then to try and resolve other than offers to build a few houses for some displaced Tawerghans elsewhere, although Tawergha Local Council Leader Abdulrahman Shikshak is reported saying that his council had held a number of meetings with the authorities but that recent events in Tripoli had stopped any further movement.
Last month, the Tawerghans said that as a result of the inaction they were joining the Amazigh community in boycotting the elections for the Constitutional Committee.
European diplomats say they think the claim about Tawerghans going to Germany is a threat rather than a reality, in an attempt to pressurise the government.
With contributions from Ashraf Abdul-Wahab and Houda Mzioudet. [/restrict]