UN CONDEMNS FORCED EVICTION OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PEOPLE IN LIBYA

TRIPOLI, UN Support Mission in Libya on Friday condemned eviction of internally displaced people (IDP) of Tawergha from the capital Tripoli by gunmen.

"The UN in Libya strongly condemns the forced eviction of displaced Tawerghan families from Tariq al-Matar Camp early this morning, leaving them homeless for a second time in seven years," the mission said in a statement.

"Entering an IDP camp while people are sleeping, demolishing homes and forcing people to flee, rendering them homeless, violates their dignity and their right to have protection under International Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws," said Special Representative to the UN Secretary-General to Libya Ghassan Salame.

The mission called on Libyan authorities to "provide shelter and protection to the evicted IDPs, release those arbitrarily detained, and bring those suspected of having committed crimes to justice without delay."

The mission also expressed willingness to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected and work with the Libyan authorities to solve the crisis of all displaced people in the country.

The Association of the Families of Martyrs, Missing Persons, Detainees and Victims of Tawergha confirmed in a statement that "60 armed men and 20 vehicles of different types carried out an armed attack on Tariq al-Matar camp."

It added that the armed men "attacked the camp and entered at dawn, terrorizing families, women, children and the elderly by shooting indiscriminately, disrespectfully searching the whole camp and stealing property."

During the 2011 uprising, some residents of Tawergha allied with the forces of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi against the rebels in the nearby Misurata. They fled to other cities in Libya after Gaddafi's regime was toppled.

The return of Tawerghans, which was scheduled on Feb. 1, was halted after armed groups from Misurata denied them entrance. Misurata city also demanded the postponement of the return a day earlier.

Misurata and Tawergha, only 40 km apart, in June signed a peace treaty which allows nearly 40,000 Tawerghans to return home after seven years of displacement.

The National Committee for Human Rights in Libya expressed deep concern over security officers of the Ministry of the Interior storming the camp, evacuating the displaced people, and arresting some of them.

The committee said despite the peace agreement, Tawergha is not ready for the return, still in need of reconstruction.

The committee also demanded the government to release the detained Tawerghans, ensure the safety of the displaced people, guarantee that such acts are not repeated, and bring those responsible to justice.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK