25 November 2011 — IPS ipsnews.net
The abandoned Latam district in Tawargha. / Credit:Karlos Zurutuza/IPS.
TAWARGHA, Libya, Nov 25, 2011 (IPS) – Embarka Omar crumbles when she sees the pictures of the Libyan city where she was born and lived until two months ago. ‘We will be back in Tawargha one day,’ the 25-year-old repeats to herself. The images say otherwise.
Tawargha had been Muammar Gaddafi’s headquarters during the terrible two-month siege of the rebel enclave of nearby Misrata,187 km southeast of capital Tripoli. Once a vibrant city of 30,000 inhabitants, the vast majority of them black, Tawargha has turned into a huge ‘supermarket’ where families from nearby Misrata load their vehicles with the spoils of looting, and militias torch the houses, probably to prevent Omar Embarka and others like her from returning some day. Today, Tawargha – ‘green island’ in the Amazigh language – is just a ghost town in the middle of the Libyan desert.