libya-conference-of-displaced
Displaced people sitting in a compound (Libya)

On Saturday, the Libyan capital, Tripoli, witnessed the organization of the first international conference for the displaced in the country, with Arab and Turkish participation.

According to The Eastern Herald correspondent, the conference was held in a Tripoli hotel for one day, under the supervision and organization of the Association of the Displaced People of Benghazi, with the participation of experts from Arab countries and Turkey.

In an opening speech, the head of the Benghazi Displaced People Association, Saad Al-Obeidi, said: “The thinking and preparation for your conference began more than a year ago, and was based on preparatory workshops held with the participation of a number of people interested in the crisis of the displaced.”

On the sidelines of the conference, Al-Obaidi said in a statement to The Eastern Herald: “There are a number of specialists, researchers and followers of the Libyan file, our Arab brothers, and our people in Turkey, all of them gathered in this hall to raise the voice of the displaced, and to unveil this issue and its size.”

On the number of displaced people, Al-Obaidi said: “It reached 250,000 from the eastern region, and they were distributed over several cities, in Misurata, Tripoli, Al-Zawiya, Gharyan, Masalata and Al-Khums,” noting that “the largest number is between Tripoli and Misurata.”

He added: “This number has decreased, as there are those who left the country, there are those who returned to the land, and there are those who moved to the mercy of God,” and he explained that “the number now exceeds 100,000.”

For his part, Director of the Center for Turkish Studies “ORSAM” Ahmet Uysal told The Eastern Herald: “We wanted to participate in this conference because it is very important.”

He added that the conference “aims to draw attention and attention to this issue, the suffering and the problems of the displaced that await a solution because they are people who still cannot return to their homes after their displacement by the militia of the putschist General Khalifa Haftar.”

Uysal pointed out that “there is an improvement in Libya, and this segment of the Libyan people needs improvement in their living conditions and the provision of services.”

On the cooperation between Ankara and Tripoli, Uysal said: “Turkey and Libya are brothers, and there are common interests and a common future.”

Mona Sweid, a displaced person from the city of Benghazi, told The Eastern Herald: “We were attacked in Benghazi on October 15, 2014, and it was the beginning of the attacks by the Dignity Operation militias (led by Haftar) on civilians inside their homes.”

She added: “On that day, the father, may God have mercy on him, was killed and 3 of my brothers (the father and one of the brothers were killed under torture after the attack) (..) We were present in the house, a civilian family consisting of a grandfather, grandmother, sons and grandchildren.”

And she continued: “We were expelled by force of arms from the house, then we moved to my relative’s house in the Al-Salmani area, and we were also attacked, and 9 families from the Al-Suwaid family were expelled by force of arms. On October 17, we headed to the western region.”

Suwaid revealed the reason for the attack, saying: “Our only sin is that we exercised our right to expression, our right that we rejected the process that was launched in Libya in 2014.”

Haftar launched the military “Operation Dignity” in May 2014, and it started from the city of Benghazi, which resulted in material and human losses, as well as the displacement of tens of thousands from the eastern region.

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