(AFP) TRIPOLI: A new accord has been struck for thousands of displaced Libyans to return home to a town that sided with former leader Muamar Qaddafi in the 2011 revolution, the country’s unity government said Monday.
Fayez Al-Sarraj, head of the Government of National Accord, welcomed the reconciliation deal signed late Sunday by representatives of the pro-Kadhafi town of and nearby Misrata, 240 kilometers southeast of the Libyan capital Tripoli.
“The return of the inhabitants of Tawergha to their town will mark the start of the return of all Libya’s displaced and exiles inside and outside the country,” Sarraj said on the GNA’s Facebook page.
The 35,000 residents of Tawergha, a town which sided with Kadhafi right up to his fall, were evicted after his overthrow and have since been kept in camps on the outskirts of Tripoli or scattered across Libya.
Living in wretched conditions, they have been the frequent target of attacks by militiamen, especially from Misrata — a city that lost hundreds of lives in the revolt against Kadhafi.
A date has yet to be announced for the return of residents to Tawergha.
An earlier accord with a return date of Feb. 1 saw hundreds of families in cars turned back at roadblocks manned by militiamen from Misrata who control the town. Since then, the displaced have camped in the desert sleeping in tents donated by U.N. agencies or shelters provided by nearby towns.