19 February 2018

Libya: Strokes Killing Libyans Blocked From Return Home

Tripoli — THOUSANDS of families are living in deadly conditions after Libyan armed groups and authorities blocked them from returning to their hometown they fled seven years ago.

At least two men have died of stroke amid the deteriorating conditions for families from Tawergha town as they are stranded in makeshift desert camps that lack adequate health facilities in coastal city of Misrata.

More than 40 000 civilians are affected after the displacement by militias as collective punishment for their support of the deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Militia also alleged abuses by some Tawerghans against Misrata residents.

Current tensions are hampering efforts to return following a long-anticipated decision by the United Nations-backed Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) to initiate the return process.

The exercise is based on an agreement brokered by the UN between representatives from Misrata and Tawergha that provided for reconciliation between the communities and compensation for victims on both sides.

Sarah Leah Whiston, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Misrata militias and authorities were being cruel and vindictive.

"The authorities in Tripoli should act to ensure that people already on their way to Tawergha reach it in safety and help them to rebuild their lives," she said.

Whiston said the International Criminal Court (ICC) should investigate those implicated in possible crimes against humanity against the Tawergha community.

ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, has a mandate to investigate crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide committed in Libya since 2011. - CAJ News


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