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The Road to Tawergha

As Libya emerges from the shadows of dictatorship, it must decide whether to embrace retribution or reconciliation.

Last Modified: 02 Oct 2013 13:33
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Filmmaker: Ashraf Mashharawi 

In 2011, Libyans rose up against their leader, Muammar Gaddafi, as the Arab Spring took root in the north African country.

In the conflict that followed, the city of Misrata became a key battleground. During the battle for the city, some residents reported being tortured by Gaddafi loyalists from the town of Tawergha, 50km to the south.

After the battle, Misrata became a launch-pad for the rebels as they prepared to move on Tripoli in a final bid to oust Gaddafi. But, before heading to the capital, Misrata-based rebels made a trip to Tawergha.

The regime was able to incite hatred between Libyans. Everywhere, not only in Misrata.

Emad Elbannani, from the Justice and Construction Party

Much of the town's almost 30,000-strong population fled. Some sought sanctuary in Benghazi in the east; others in Tripoli in the west and Sabha in the south. Most of the refugees are black Libyans.

In the refugee camps of Janzour, on the outskirts of Tripoli, and Al Halis, on the outskirts of Benghazi, many of the residents from Tawergha say they are still being persecuted. 

With the new Libyan government so far failing to embrace the notion of national reconciliation, some Libyans are taking it upon themselves to pursue peace and forgiveness. 

The Road to Tawergha is about war, retribution and the difficult road to reconciliation that Libya must travel if it is to emerge from the shadows of Gaddafi's 42-year reign.

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