TRIPOLI, June 4 (Xinhua) — The Libyan cities of Misurata and Tawergha on Sunday signed a peace treaty which allows nearly 40,000 Tawerghans to return home after seven years of displacement due to their support for the former government during the 2011 uprising.
“This treaty aims to turn the page on the past with the neighboring residents in Tawergha and close the door to the trading of this issue by some parties, which aim to achieve regional or partisan political interests,” said Mustafa Karwad, head of Misurata’s municipal council.
As a good start and gesture to enable all displaced people to return to their cities, the reconciliation came after both sides reached consensus with an aim to establish the principles of good neighborliness between the Libyans, Karwad added.
The peace treaty prohibits harboring criminals as well as generalization of crimes committed on people from both cities, stipulates cooperation in search for missing people and mass graves, and responds to claims that would provoke sedition between the two cities.
Misurata is Libya’s third-largest city with a population of half a million, which played a major role in overthrowing former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The city is also one of the most militarized cities with the largest armed militia in the country.
Only 40 km apart, Misurata and Tawergha signed a UN-sponsored draft reconciliation agreement in August 2016, which provided for the return of displaced Tawerghans.
However, the return was halted after armed groups in Misurata refused to allow Tawerghans from entering their city over various demands.