In December 2015, during a meeting organized in Tunis by the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), representatives from Misrata and Tawergha agreed on a road map with the right of the people of Tawergha to return to their land and homes.
A Joint Committee of representatives from both regions was created in January 2015 to establish the mechanism and conditions for a safe return. Since then, UNSMIL and UNDP have organized several meetings with the Joint Committee through the “Transitional Justice Project in Libya” with the objective of assisting the committee in the implementation of the agreed upon roadmap. In August 2016, the Misrata and Tawergha Dialogue Committee reached an agreement to operationalize the 2015 roadmap. The roadmap was endorsed by the Presidency Council in July 2017.
UNSMIL and UNDP have been providing guidance to the Joint Committee on conducting a transitional justice process in line with international human rights standards.
Over 200 families have already returned safely to their home in Tawergha.
As part of its efforts to support psychological recovery from conflict for community members from Misrata and Tawergha, UNDP, under the Transitional Justice Project, helped establish a Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS) center in Tommina, a town between the two cities.
“My sisters insisted me to join. They told me the center has psychological specialists and that I would feel better talking with them. I said to myself, well, I have nothing to lose, this can’t get worse,” said Ms. Omar.
With support from the Italian Cooperation Agency, UNDP rehabilitated an old school as the site of the MHPSS Center and supplied it with furniture and equipment, such as books, games and medical items. Then, it trained and mentored 35 local volunteers, including Health Ministry personnel and practitioners to run the center. Teams of three to four people were trained to identify most vulnerable persons in need of support and on how to respond to their phycological needs. The project also worked to empower youth and women to engage in assessment, design planning and monitoring of MHPSS.
“We help people from Misrata to think beyond what they consider an injustice, and we help people from Tawargha to go beyond their fears of people from Misrata,” said Ms. Amal Safar, Director of the Psycho-Social Support Center in Tommina.
The center also supports women from Tawergha and Misrata that were even afraid to sit together in the same room to rebuild their interactions through dialogue.