Libya: 3,500 displaced people from Tawergha remain homeless, without solutions guaranteeing humane housing

In Arab Countries, International Advocacy Program by CIHRS

Civilians from the city Tawergha, mostly women and children, have been  forcibly displaced to Benghazi camps, beginning in 2011.  Armed groups affiliated with general command in eastern Libya have forced 3.5 thousand displaced people from Tawergha to evacuate these camps without providing alternatives or other places to shelter, further prolonging their suffering.

Since 10 September 2023, coinciding with Storm Daniel, Tariq bin Ziyad Brigade , affiliated to  the general command Khalifa Hafter in the East,  began gradually evacuating the camps in Benghazi and transferred the residents of the Qar Yunis, Al-Halis, and Sports City ‘Al-Medina Al-Riyadya’ camps, (Camp 1 and Camp 2) to public schools. Following the storm, the evacuated camp residents were prohibited from returning to their places in the camps and were surprised by a permanent evacuation order for all internal displacement camps in Benghazi, despite their safety and lack of damage from the storm.

The undersigned organizations recognize the importance of finding a just solution guaranteeing decent humanitarian housing for the displaced people of Tawergha, who were forcibly displaced from their city twelve years ago. The organizations call for a rapid arrangement of shelter for these currently displaced people, and for them to be enabled to return to the camps in Benghazi temporarily, while working to immediately resolve their case with just humanitarian solutions that end the ongoing crime of forced deportation against them.

The organizations further renew their rejection of the reconciliation agreement between Misrata and Tawergha, ratified by the Government of National Accord in June 2017. The agreement failed to consider the horrific record of violations against Tawergha residents, failed to include any effective programs for redress, and robbed residents of most of their civil and political rights. The agreement further failed to guarantee any real protection to the population from armed groups amid absence of security sector reform programs. Thus, numerous Tawergha residents rejected the agreement and refused to return to their afflicted city, which has been completely destroyed  since 2011, and disrupt the reintegration process.

Human rights defender from Tawergha (M.A.) said, “The majority of the displaced Tawergha residents in the Benghazi camps were expelled, and currently remain displaced within the city of Benghazi, unable to return either to the camps or to the city of Tawergha.”

According to recent statistics, approximately 125,000 Libyan refugees are displaced from affected cities during the ongoing conflict. The equivalent of 40,000 people were recently displaced from Derna, as a result of the storm, according to a report from the International Organization for Migration.

The undersigned organizations affirm that the displacement and forced displacement of thousands inside Libya is a crime against humanity, according to international law. International law criminalizes the forced deportation of residents from their areas of residence, or forced migration using means of pressure, intimidation and persecution. Transitional justice mechanisms are a basic condition for facilitating the voluntary return and reintegration of displaced persons, within permanent just and humanitarian plans, guaranteeing the right to remedy and appropriate reparation.

The undersigned human rights organizations call on the Libyan authorities to enable the displaced people of Tawergha to return to their city within a fair, effective and comprehensive plan. We call for the reconciliation agreement to be renewed and amended, to guarantee the human, civil and political rights of the people of Tawergha, inclusive of their right to conduct local elections for the municipal council. We further call on the Libyan authorities to reform the security sector, and ensure that those responsible are held accountable for the crimes committed against people of Tawergha, and the victims’ right to redress and reparation for damage proportionate to human, material and psychological losses of over twelve years.


In August 2011, after the defeat of Gaddafi’s forces at the hands of armed groups affiliated with the National Transitional Council. As these groups approached the city of Tawergha, all 48,000 residents of the city fled as a result of systematic incitement campaigns and fear of retaliatory attacks.

In 2017, a reconciliation agreement was signed between Tawergha and Misrata. The provisions of the agreement included numerous violations of the rights of Tawergha residents. Despite the clear inadequacy of the current Libyan judicial system,  the second provision recognises the Libyan judiciary alone as the competent judiciary to consider all disputes that have occurred or may occur in the future. This undermines the mechanism of criminal justice and reparation, relinquishing victims’ right to resort to international justice, and international courts with jurisdiction. The fourth provision of the agreement violates the right of free expression, barring residents from opposing or criticizing  policies, under the pretext of preventing ‘fanning the fire of strife.’ The fifth provision further confiscates the right of the people of Tawergha to elect their local city council.

The sixth provision of the agreement contains a form of collective punishment against residents who rejected the terms of this agreement. The agreement prevents the return of all displaced Tawergha people who did not agree to the terms of the agreement, and limits entry to those who were physically ordinarily residing in the Tawergha region before 17 February 2011  and acknowledge the terms of the agreement signed between Misrata and Tawergha, and pledge to abide by everything contained therein.


  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  • Adala For All
  • Aman Against Discrimination
  • Aswat Media Network
  • Defender Center for Human Right
  • Libyan Crimes Watch
  • Justice without chains
  • Libyan Center For Freedom Of Press
  • Libyan Organization for Independent Media
  • Youth Gathering For Tawargha

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