By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 27 April 2017:
State Council president Abdulrahman Sewehli has thrown his support behind the Misrata-Tawergha deal that could see as many as 40,000 Tawerghans return home after more than half a decade of displacement.
The deal was agreed at the end of August through UN-backed endeavours but little has come to fruition so far.
However, with the Tawerghans still living in often appalling conditions in camps across Libya, Sewehli has again raised the issue, also discussing with the Tawergha local council leader Abdulrahman Shakshak how greater support could be given to the displaced people. Basic services and an improvement in living conditions were the priority, he said.
The two met in Tripoli.
How effective Sewehli’s intervention will be remains to be seen, however. This is not the first time he has promised help. Eleven months ago, he promised to improve living conditions and security for Tawerghan refugees in the camps, but nothing has come of it.
Unfulflled promises of help and an end to the Tawerghan’s exile and misery have come from other political figures as well. A number of municipalities have offered land to build homes for the exiles, but there is no money to do so. There have been a numer of meetings between the Tawerghan leadership and the the Beida-based interim government of Abdullah Thinni to discuss the necessary financial support, the most recent in February, but nothing has transpired.
Controversial cleric Sadek Al-Ghariani earlier this month also said that it was time that the Tawerghans be allowed to return home, although he added that those who had been involved in war crimes against Misrata should be handed over and put on trial.
During the 2011 revolution Tawerghan fighters supported Qaddafi and his offensive against Misrata. Their forces were accused of numerous war crimes including rape, torture and the mutilation of Misratan soldiers’ corpses.
The 40,000 have remained in exile since.