Authorities in and around Misrata are preventing thousands of people from returning to the villages of Tomina and Kararim and have failed to stop local militias from looting and burning homes there, Human Rights Watch reported on Tuesday. The same goes for the roughly 30,000 displaced people from the nearby town of Tawergha, who have also been blocked from returning home for at least five months.
Displaced residents of Tomina and Kararim told Human Rights Watch that Gaddafi forces had ordered the civilian residents of both villages to evacuate their homes on May 12, 2011. The residents of Tawergha fled with retreating Gaddafi forces in mid-August.
Officials in Misrata have sought to justify the violations to Human Rights Watch, contending that people from Tomina, Kararim, and Tawergha fought with Gaddafi forces and committed atrocities against Misratans during the 2011 conflict. The National Transitional Council and transitional government have been unable to assert control over the hundreds of militias operating in Libya, Human Rights Watch said. But in Misrata local military authorities, including the military council, appear to have influence over many of the city’s 250 militias. The Misrata Military Council apparently operates checkpoints, including one 80 kilometers south of the city. According to HRW the Misrata authorities could definitely do a lot more to allow returns and to protect civilian property.
Fierce clashes between two tribes in Libya's remote southeastern desert have killed more than 100 people over the past 10 days, tribal sources said on Tuesday.
At least 113 people from the Toubu tribe and another 23 from the Zwai tribe have been killed in the town of Kufra since fighting erupted on 12 February, the sources said.
A source from the National Transitional Council, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said control of lucrative smuggling routes was at the root of the conflict. Kufra, with a population of about 40,000, is located in a triangle sharing borders with Egypt, Chad and Sudan. The Toubu tribe faced discrimination under Qadhafi's regime.