LIBYAPROSPECT – Amsterdam
“After February’s revolution and all the proceedings that followed, merely mentioning the word Tawergha was considered a crime. But secret meetings were being held in Tripoli between representatives from Misrata and Tawergha that were seeking a reconciliation between the two cities.”
That’s how the head of the negotiators on Tawergha’s side,
Abdulrahman Al-Shakshak, started his conversation with LIBYAPROSPECT.
LIBYAPROSPECT’s interview with Al Shakshak comes after the interview with, Misrata’s representative, Yousef Zarzah, to get the whole picture.
Mohamed Rabie interviewed him
LIBYAPROSPECT: How did the private sessions start? And who participated in them?
- We started holding secret and private sessions in Tripoli with representatives from Misrata, including Suleiman Al Forteah, Mohamed Al Rjoubi, and Khalifa Al Zwawi. We held the meetings at different times. I admit now that those sessions broke the ice between everyone.
LIBYAPROSPECT: What happened after those private meetings?
- The UN invited us to an official meeting in Geneva. There, we issued a statement that guarantees the people of Tawergha’s right to return to their homes. That was the spark of harmony between us; it was an important step that was followed by a visit to Misrata’s prison to gradually solve the prisoner’s issue.
LIBYAPROSPECT: Later after the meeting of Geneva, you met in Tunisia. What happened there?
- In that meeting, we spoke about an advanced phase that includes compensations for the affected from both parties; the amount was set according to the articles of the statement that was issued in Geneva. We also discussed how the return would take place, as well as the instruments that will make the process easier.
LIBYAPROSPECT: You are talking about massive amounts of money. Who will pay for these compensations?
- Concerning this point, we arranged a meeting with the head of the Presidential Council (PC), Fayez Al Serraj. He expressed his willingness to pay all the money for those who deserve it. He also encouraged our work and expressed his full support to our approach.
LIBYAPROSPECT: You recently signed a final agreement in the Tunisian capital, when will it enter into force?
- It will come into force the week after Eid Al-Udha. That means all the compensations will be fully paid. In my opinion, this is considered as an important point for the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the National Reconciliation, which will be the victory for the rights.
LIBYAPROSPECT: Do you think everyone is happy with this agreement?
- These compensations include massive amounts of money that will be given to the residents of Tawergha and the outskirts of Misrata to help them return home as soon as possible. 1500 housing units will be offered to those who lost their homes entirely while waiting for their houses to be rebuilt by several Libyan companies. This agreement will allow those living in camps to return to their homes and help restore it. An amount of 6000 Libyan Dinars will be given to those whom their houses weren’t sufficiently damaged. And later on, everyone can complain to the court of law, which is a right to all.
LIBYAPROSPECT: We understand the enormous impact the war with a Gaddafi had and how hard solving such problem must be. Did any international organization offer help with your bold initiative?
- We met with a lot of international parties that showed their willingness to help out and solve the issue to rebuild the city of Tawergha and some parts of Misrata.
LIBYAPROSPECT: Some voices are trying to disrupt the conciliation between Misrata and Tawergha, who do you think is responsible for that?
- All those who opposed to this initiative are probably guilty in this war. We say to all who disagree with the agreement that this is a real move, and soon enough you will see the people of Tawergha back at their homes. The people of Misrata are serious about the reconciliation. There had to be a lot of compromises to reach peace in Libya.
LIBYAPROSPECT: Are you happy with this conciliation?
- Of course, I’m jubilant. This agreement is a golden opportunity for the people of Tawergha to come back to their homes.