Wiping Tawerghans off the face of the planet

United Nations, Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya, pp. 130-131:

¶ 447.      The Commission notes that the Misratan thuwar [i.e. anti-Qaddafi forces] have been open about their treatment of the Tawerghans. In one interview with the Commission, a thuwar said he thought that Tawerghans deserved “to be wiped off the face of the planet”.

¶ 448.      Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, an officer in charge of thuwar in Tawergha said, “we gave them thirty days to leave…We said if they didn’t go, they would be conquered and imprisoned. Every single one of them has left, and we will never allow them to come back”. The same officer continued, “[t]he military council will decide what will happen to the buildings, But over our dead bodies will the Tawerghas return:”, with another commander stating to the reporter, “Tawergha no longer exists.”

¶ 449.      Mamoud Jibril, then the NTC Prime Minister, in a speech at a public meeting in the Misrata town hall, was quoted as saying “Regarding Tawergha, my own viewpoint is that nobody has the right to interfere in this matter except the people of Misrata.”

¶ 450.      In meetings with the First Deputy to the Prime Minister and the Adviser to the Prime Minister in January 2012, it was indicated to the Commission that the Libyan government was trying to resolve the “Tawergha problem” but had not yet been successful. The impasse was attributed, by those interviewed, to the crimes of rape they believed had solely been committed by Tawerghan men. Those interviewed appeared not to be aware that, according to the Commission’s investigations, confessions of rape from detained Tawerghan men had been elicited through use of torture.

¶ 451.      In its meeting with the Libyan Minister of the Interior, the Commission was informed the issue of Tawergha had “historical, cultural and political dimensions” and that most Tawerghans participated in the Qadhafi forces attack on Misrata. The Minister stated that the Tawergha forces committed rapes and killings in Misrata and indicated that while Libyans would forgive “blood crimes” they will never forgive “honour crimes”. The Minister indicated that “no force on earth can return people of Tawergha to their town under the current circumstances”, and suggested that the Libyan state resettle them elsewhere in Libya with proper educational, health care and other facilities.

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