Libyan Tawergha families displaced in 2011 to return home

Fayez Serraj. (AFP file)
Updated 27 December 2017
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Libyan Tawergha families displaced in 2011 to return home

BENGHAZI: Libyan families displaced from the town of Tawergha after being driven out by militias following the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that evolved into a ruinous civil war can return in February, the head of the UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli, said.
The decision, announced Tuesday by Prime Minister Fayez Serraj, follows a reconciliation deal between representatives of Tawergha and the city of Misrata, which previously fought on opposing sides. Serraj's government ratified the agreement in June.
Tawergha was used as a staging ground for attacks on Misrata during the uprising that eventually toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi. Anti-Qaddafi militias, mainly from Misrata, ransacked the town and drove out its residents, believing they had aided Qaddafi's forces. Tawergha, located some 38 km south of Misrata, has been a ghost town since.
Tawergha's residents have since been living in camps and makeshift housing across Libya. Human Rights Watch estimates the number of those displaced from the town to stand at about 40,000. The Tawergha community is a racially distinct group with darker skin than most Libyans, making it even harder for them to navigate the country's chaotic post-revolutionary environment.
Libya descended into chaos since 2011 and is now split between rival governments and myriad militias.


Yemeni spokesman says militants seek to ignite Hodeidah fighting

Updated 39 min 20 sec ago
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Yemeni spokesman says militants seek to ignite Hodeidah fighting

  • Renewed fighting in Hodeidah would risk severing the main passage for humanitarian aid
  • A senior Houthi member earlier said a withdrawal is “impossible”

CAIRO: Yemen’s militants are igniting more conflict by their refusal to give up control of the key port city of Hodeida, the focus of months of UN-brokered talks, a government spokesman said.
Renewed fighting in Hodeidah would risk severing the main passage for humanitarian aid to the rest of the country, including northern Yemen, a heartland of the Houthi militants.
Rageh Badi, spokesman for the internationally recognized Yemen government, denounced remarks by senior militant leader Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi who earlier this week told The Associated Press that the Saudi-led coalition, which backs the government side in the conflict, is trying to change the terms of the agreement struck last year in Sweden and that a militant withdrawal would therefore be “impossible.”
Badi told reporters at a press conference Wednesday in the southern city of Aden that such remarks could set off renewed fighting in Hodeidah, the key entry point for international aid to the war-torn country, and violate the tentative peace agreement reached by the two sides in Sweden.
The remarks are a “renunciation of the Hodeidah agreement and a declaration of war,” Badi said, urging the UN to step up pressure on the rebels to prevent another “explosion of the situation” in Hodeidah. Otherwise, renewed fighting is just a “few days” away, he added.