According to many news reports, the Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be travelling to Libya tomorrow to formally apologise for the awful atrocities committed by the Italian occupation in Libya.
He will in a speech to the Libyan people from Al-Manar Palace in Benghazi try to put an end to this very painful period that our ancestors have suffered, what the Italians did in Libya was a crime on a massive scale, a crime that still hurts and haunts all of us when we read or see pictures of the ghastly crimes they committed, including setting up concentration camps where thousands of Libyans perished and that was long before the equally disgusting Nazi concentration camps, the Italians used new weapons that have never been tried before, such as airplanes, tanks and different types of bombs, the Libyans were used as guinea pigs at the receiving end.
Can we forgive Italy for what they did? in my opinion yes we can, it was committed by a different generation and we can not hold Italian people responsible for what happened decades ago but Italy is obliged to compensate the Libyan people, this will not make us forget but it will at least make us feel that they are sorry for what happened, I have read about a new road connection Egypt to Tunisia through Libya at the cost of £6 billion Euros to be built by Italy, I am not sure if this is a good way to pay for their country's crimes, another thing I read was Italy is to clear Libya of all landmines, this is good and to be encouraged because this will benefit many, how about compensating all people that were killed and maimed by Italian landmines, how about opening schools and hospitals run by Italians with the latest in technology for our people to benefit from, these are really much better than just a road which probably already exists anyway.
It is time for us to forgive but we should never forget what our people went through, we should never forget Omar El-Mokhtar, Ramadan Elswihli, Suliman Elbarouni and many many others who were equally heroic and most of all we should never forget what happened to the thousands of unnamed men, women and children that fought the fascist Italians and lost their lives doing so, forgive Yes, forget No.
*Most pictures are from Libya Our Home