By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli/Misrata, 16 June 2016:
Claims by officials and GECOL staff in Tripoli that it is suffering unfairly from power cuts because other towns, including Misrati, have refused to share in the pain of the outages, are a distortion of the facts say Misratan officials.
The city is experiencing power cuts, albeit less than Tripoli but nonetheless averaging five to eight hours a day, they point out. In the north of the city, in the area around the Gardabiya supermarket and the Swehli Sporting Club, the power was off today, Thursday, from 7am till 4pm, an official noted. In Al-Jazeera district, it was between 10am and 2.30pm. In the centre of the city, from 2pm til 7.30pm
“People in Misrata don’t shout or cry about the cuts unlike those in Tripoli”, said one resident, Abdussalam, angry about the accusations that the city had refused to share in the outages, and pointing out that the city has borne the brunt of the fight against the so-called Islamic State (IS/Daesh)
“We have martyrs every day,” he complained. “Our kids are dying every day in Sirte, not merely for ourselves, not even for all Libya, but to help free the world from the evil of Daesh. We are suffering from liquidity problems as well, and increasing prices, as much as any other LIbyans, but we don’t shout, we don’t cry. The power cuts are a small problem in comparison.”
Resentment is spreading, not merely at the electricity claims but the more general one heard in Tripoli and elsewhere, that Misrata is trying to control Libya.
“We’re trying to do something for this miserable country,” said one official who asked not to be named. “People should be ashamed hating us. Is it because we killed Muammer [Qaddafi]? People outside Misrata want to convince the world that Misrata is ruled by Muslim Brotherhood. It’s not true. They try to say that any crime committed in Tripoli is committed by Misratans; criminals are hiding behind the name of Misrata.”
The anger that Misrata’s casualties in the battle against IS are ignored by other Libyans and the outside world is beginning to show elsewhere in the city.
Earlier this week, there was a protest outside the city’s Martyrs’ Hall over the treatment of those wounded fighting IS. The Government of National Accord headed by Faiez Serraj had to do more to ensure that they were treated properly, demonstrators insisted, angry at reports that both the EU and Tunisia were reported to have refused to accept wounded from the battle. At the beginning of the week some 32 was flown from Misrata to Algiers for treatment, but the protestors alleged that even they were being mistreated.
The Bunyan Marsous operations room is now reported to have set up a special committee to ensure that the wounded find proper treatment both in Libya and abroad.
It is also starting a radio station to keep people informed about what is happening in regard to all the fighting.