The people of Tawergha have been hit hard by years of civil conflict in Libya, leaving the city distraught and heavily damaged. Now, joyful laughs and children's songs can be heard as local residents look to move on past their difficult past and return to a sense of normalcy.
Eight months after citizens returned to their homes in Tawergha, Libya, joyful songs and children’s laughs can be heard in the city.
Tawergha, which was deserted for over seven years, is slowly returning to normalcy.
Children in the city have returned to their schools and have established the Tawergha Scout Commission, which aims to rebuild the children’s lost childhood.
“We came to the Wataniya area that lies between the al-Diaa School and the university. As you can see, boys and girls are singing together,” said a scout facilitator.
Following the fall of the Gaddafi regime in 2011, the cities of Misrata and Tawergha in northwestern Libya fell into a brutal series of clashes.
Militias from the city of Tawergha, which remained primarily loyal to the regime, entered Misrata, considered a springboard of the revolution and carried out heinous crimes against its residents.
When the uprising against Gaddafi succeeded, Misratan militias sieged Tawergha and committed equally heinous crimes, with some cases of dismemberment and mutilation reported.
As a result, the 40,000 residents of Tawergha were forced out of the city, spending over seven years in displacement camps throughout the country.
However, in June 2018, a historic agreement was made between the two cities.
The reconciliation agreement resulted in thousands returning to their homes, only to find Tawergha a ghost town.
However, since then, civil society organisations and volunteers have attempted to rehabilitate the infrastructure of Tawergha.
Despite the work that has been already carried out to rehabilitate the city, residents say that much more needs to be done to return the city to its previous state.
“We demand the state to accelerate the provision of electricity in the region,” said a resident of Tawergha.
While there is much work to be done, the citizens of Tawergha remain determined to rebuild their city and give their kids a brighter future.