By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 25 September 2014:
Bani Walid today marked the second anniversary of the GNC-authorised attack which disarmed its militias . . .[restrict]on the grounds that they were the last remnants of the Qaddafi regime.
The GNC’s Law 7 of September 2012 cleared the way for the Libyan army and assorted militias to attack the town. The bitterness felt by the locals, who maintained that they were once at the forefront of the revolt against Qaddafi but were never supported by other cities, remains deep. Bani Walid leaders protest that this was why they remained on the sidelines during the revolution rather than because of any loyalty to the Qaddafi regime.
The precursor to the attack was a demand by the GNC for the hand-over those accused of killing Misratan revolutionary Omran Shaaban. The town’s refusal or inability to comply cleared the way for the offensive . Army units – dominated by Misratan forces – launched a full-scale attack on 18 October 2012 and broke through the last defences seven days later.
Today the townspeople, predominantly members of the Warfalla tribe, remembered what they see as a grave injustice with an event held in front of a backdrop of pictures of the 20 people killed in the GNC-authorised assault,
Bani Walid has recently become a refuge for people fleeing the fighting in Warshefana and the bombing and tensions in Tripoli. In the last three days it is understood that at least 600 families have arrived in the town and neighbouring villages. They have joined reportedly more than three thousand other households that had fled earlier fighting in the capital as Libya Dawn forces drove out Zintani militias.
The pressure on the council and civil society organisations in caring for these people has been intense. Today a collection of food and essential supplies was delivered to needy refugee families. The authorities are warning that greater flows of aid will be necessary.