Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Libya continues the positive development of its relationship with its former colonial occupiers Italy as it marks the anniversary of the Libyans exiled there during the colonial period.
Traffic in all regions of Libya came to a stand-still for five minutes at noon to mark the occasion, while the first periods of all educational institutes were dedicated to discussing this issue which ended with the signing of a compensation agreement last August worth $5 billion, an agreement which aims to resolve any outstanding issues relating to the Italian colonization of Libya.
The anniversary of the exiled Libyans included the Libyan flag flying at half-mast, and the population wearing black clothes in remembrance. Libyan flights, as well as any international land or sea travel were cancelled for the day, while international postal service and telephone communication was postponed between dawn and 6 PM.
According to the Libyan news agency JANA, the inhabitants of the Italian Termiti Islands, one of the locations to which Libyans were exiled to during the colonial period, gave blood samples for DNA comparison to the Libyan genetic map in response to the request of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to help identify the children and grandchildren of exiled Libyans. Giuseppe Calabrese, the mayor of the municipality which took part in this DNA investigation said ‘We have given blood simples to verify the nature of the Termitian people and to identify whether there remain any descendants of exiled Libyans on the Termiti Islands’
He added ‘We wanted to take part in this investigation as a process of goodwill towards the Libyan people to show that there is no hostility between us’.