Refugee camp attack in Tripoli sparks outrage

#LibyaCrisis

Libya Dawn has come under fire from Libyan human rights monitors for allegedly killing a refugee 'in cold blood'

Destruction in Tawergha, from where over 40,000 refugees fled after ethnic cleansing in 2011 (AFP)
MEE staff's picture
Last update: 
Thursday 12 February 2015 22:15 UTC
Shares:
42
Topics: 

A deadly attack on a refugee camp for internally displaced people in Libya has sparked outcry directed at miltia fighters from Libya Dawn.

Saturday morning saw armed militants raid the camp located in Tripoli's city centre. The camp houses a portion of at least 40,000 people who fled Tawergha when Misratan rebels allegedly a campaign of ethnic cleansing was carried out in the town during Libya’s 2011 revolution.

There had been tension between Tawergha and Misrata for years. Then during Libya's uprising, Muammar Gaddafi's forces used the town as a base while they subjected Misrata to a three-month siege. As rebels gained the upper hand, Tawerghans, who are mostly descendants of black slaves, were accused of complicity in Misratan blockaed and became prime targets. Thousands of Tawerghans were arrested, abused and tortured, according to human rights groups.  Today, Tawergha is a ghost town.

In Saturday's attack, five people were injured, and five others were abducted, according to Libyan news site al-Wasat.

The captive Tawerghans were taken to Yarmouk barracks, a former Libyan army facility near Tripoli that was seized by Misratan rebels in July 2014.

One of the captives, Rahil Yaqa, was executed at the barracks, al-Wasat reported. There is no indication of the current whereabouts of the four other abducted Tawerghans.

Refugee camps in Libya come under attack fairly frequently. Most recently, the same camp was badly damaged after it came under rocket fire on 22 August.

This latest attack, however, has sparked outcry among civil society groups, who accuse Misratan rebels of killing Yaqa “in cold blood.”

A coalition of civil society groups, both those representing Tawergha and Libyan human rights monitors, condemned the “random bombings” and “direct fire” the refugees have faced.

“We hold Libya Dawn forces responsible, and demand that they deliver the perpetrator to justice.”

Libya Dawn, a loose coalition of militia groups linked to Misratan rebels, have made no mention of the attack on their Facebook page, mentioning instead gains they claim to have made in Tripoli.