Gustrisehat’sWeblog

Desember 8, 2008

Omar Al Moktar : The Lion of The Desert

Filed under: TAUHID — Gustri @ 4:09 am


Lelaki renta itu melangkah menuju tiang gantungan. Kedua tangannya terbelenggu namun matanya masih tetap berbinar. Raut mukanya tak menampakkan rasa takut sedikit pun. Ia begitu gagah walaupun maut tengah merambat mendekatinya.

Suasana sendu justru menyergap orang-orang di sekelilingnya. Mereka menatap lelaki berusia 80 tahun itu, dengan wajah muram. Air mata tak dapat mereka bendung pula. Bahkan beberapa saat kemudian, jerit tangis bersahutan.

Tatkala mereka melihat lingkaran tali tiang gantungan, menjerat leher pahlawan mereka, Omar Al-Mokhtar. Singa Padang Pasir itu, berpulang ke Rahmatullah, pada 16 September 1931 di Kota Solouq. Usai sudah perjuangannya melawan penjajahan Italia.

Omar Al-Mokhtar memang dipandang sebagai simbol perlawanan terhadap penjajahan Italia bagi rakyat Libya. Sejak Italia mulai menancapkan cengkeramannya di negeri tersebut pada Oktober 1911. Ia telah menjadi pionir untuk menyalakan bara perjuangan rakyat Libya

Syahid di Tiang Gantungan
Gelora perjuangannya juga merambat kepada rakyat Libya lainnya, dan melahirkan para mujahid seperti Ramadan As-Swaihli, Mohammad Farhat Az-Zawi, Al-Fadeel Bo-Omar, Solaiman Al-Barouni dan Silima An-Nailiah.

Usaha Italia menguasai Libya, dilakukan dengan menyerang dan menguasai kota-kota pantai seperti Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata dan Derna secara beruntun. Meski demikian, Omar kerap menjadi batu sandungan mereka. Ia mampu membangkitkan semangat perjuangan rakyat Libya.

Perlawanan mereka telah menciptakan sejumlah pertempuran hebat. Misalnya pertempuran yang terjadi di Al-Hani dekat Tripoli pada 23 Oktober 1911, Ar-Rmaila dekat Misrata, Al-Fwaihat dekat Benghazi pada Maret 1912 dan Wadi Ash-Shwaer dekat Derna.

Bahkan tak jarang perjuangan rakyat Libya menuai hasil gemilang. Kala itu, mereka terlibat dalam pertempuran besar di Al-Gherthabiya, dekat Sirt pada April 1915. Italia kehilangan ribuan serdadu. Pertempuran semacam ini sering terjadi, membuat Italia harus melalui tahun demi tahun untuk menguasai negeri ini.

Meski pada akhirnya, wilayah-wilayah yang dipertahankan oleh para mujahidin jatuh pula ke tangan penjajah. Jatuhnya wilayah demi wilayah membuat para pejuang meninggalkan rumahnya dan menuju ke pegunungan. Mereka tak berdiam diri, namun merencanakan beragam serangan lanjutan.

Pada 1922 Omar mengorganisir para mujahidin dan mengobarkan kembali perlawanan terhadap pendudukan Italia atas negerinya. Ia mengumpulkan kembali mujahidin di The Green Mountain (Aj-Jabal Al-Akdar), bagian Tenggara Libya. Hal itu terjadi setelah Perang Dunia I ketika Italia berpikir telah mampu meredam sepenuhnya perlawanan rakyat Libya.

Perlawanan yang kembali mencuat membuat otoritas Italia merasakan bahaya yang mengancam. Mereka tak mau membiarkan perlawanan semakin merajalela. Lalu pemerintah pusat Italia Badolio yang terkenal haus darah untuk meredam bara perlawanan tersebut.

Ia tak hanya mendapatkan tugas memimpin pertempuran untuk menumpas Omar Al-Mokhtar dan pasukannya. Bahkan ia pun diizinkan untuk membunuh rakyat jelata yang hidup tenang baik di desa maupun pegunungan hanya karena di anggap membantu para mujahidin.

Beberapa saat kemudian, sang diktator, Musolini, juga mengirimkan komandan yang berperilaku seperti Badolio. Ia mengemban tugas yang sama untuk mengenyahkan nyawa-nyawa orang yang tak berdosa dan tak lupa menumpas gerakan mujahidin.

Dan Musolini berpikir bahwa untuk menyelesaikan masalah Libya secara tuntas adalah Rodolfo Grasiani. Bahkan kepada kabinetnya Musolini menyatakan kedatangan Grasiani kelak membuat suasana di Libya dapat terkontrol sepenuhnya.

Kala itu, Grasiani setuju pergi ke Libya dengan catatan tak ada aturan yang dapat membelenggunya dalam melakukan berbagai tindakan di Libya. Bahkan peraturan internasional sekalipun. Sebelum ditugaskan ke Libya, ia pergi ke Morj, Switzerland untuk merencanakan serangan terhadap Libya.

Rancangan Grasiani tentu saja disetujui sepenunya oleh Musolini. Pasalnya, ia berpegang pada prinsip ”jika tak bersamaku maka kalian adalah lawanku”. Dengan demikian untuk menguasai Libya segala cara harus dihalalkan tak peduli akan mengorbankan banyak jiwa yang tak berdosa.

Rencana pertama Grasiani adalah mengisolir Libya serta mencegah adanya kontak baik langsung maupun tak langsung dengan mujahidin dan negara tetangganya yang memasok senjata dan informasi kepada para pejuang Libya. Ia membangun kawat berduri sepanjang 300 km, tinggi 2 meter dan lebar 3 meter dari pelabuhan Bardiyat Slaiman Libya Utara sampai Al-Jagboub Libya Tenggara.

Rencana lainnya adalah membangun kamp konsentrasi di mana ribuan warga Libya harus hidup dalam pengawasan angkatan perang Italia. Ia membangun kamp konsentrasi di Al-Aghaila, Al-Maghroun, Solouq, dan Al-Abiyar.

Pada akhir November 1929 semua warga Libya yang hidup di tenda di Al-Jabal Al-Akdar, Mortaf-Aat Al-Thahir dari Beneena Utara sampai Ash-Shlaithemiya Selatan, dari Tawkera ke bagian selatan padang pasir Balt Abdel-Hafeeth, digiring untuk hidup di kamp-kamp konsentrasi.

Kehidupan rakyat Libya di kamp sangat mengerikan. Bahkan ribuan warga Libya mati kelaparan. Tak jarang pula mereka mati karena ditembak atau digantung sebab diyakini membantu perjuangan para mujahidin.

Pada 1933, Ketua Departemen Kesehatan Angkatan Darat Italia, Dr Todesky menuliskan dalam bukunya bertajuk Cerinaica Today. Dalam bukunya itu ia menyebutkan bahwa dari Mei sampai September 1930, lebih dari 80 ribu warga Libya dipaksa meninggalkan tanah kelahirannya dan hidup di kamp konsentrasi.

Iring-iringan warga Libya yang berjumlah 300 orang sekali jalan, mendapat kawalah ketat dari militer Italia. Todesky melanjutkan bahwa pada akhir 1930 semua warga Libya yang hidup di tenda-tenda dipaksa untuk hidup di kamp konsentrasi. Sebanyak 55 persen dari 80 ribu warga Libya meninggal di kamp konsentrasi tersebut.

Seorang sejarawan Libya, Mahmoud Ali At-Taeb menyatakan bahwa pada November 1930 paling tidak terdapat 17 pemakaman dalam sehari terjadi di kamp konsetrasi akibat kelaparan, penyakit, dan depresi.

Di luar kamp konsentrasi, mujahidin yang bertahan di daerah pegunungan terus berjuang melawan penjajahan Italia. Namun pada 1931 mujahidin kehabisan bahan pangan dan amunisi. Pimpinan mujahidin, Omar Al-Mokhtar, sakit-sakitan dan banyak mujadihin memintanya untuk berhenti dan meninggalkan negeri tersebut. Namun ia menolak tawaran tersebut dan tetap mengobarkan perjuangan.

Atas kegigihannya melawan penjajahan Italia tak heran jika ia dijuluki sebagai ‘Singa Padang Pasir’. Meski akhirnya, usia senja tak mampu membuatnya bertahan untuk memanggul senjata. Ia ditangkap dan dijatuhi hukuman gantung. Eksekusi tetap dilakukan tanpa mempertimbangkan kerentaan Omar Al-Mokhtar dan hukum internasional.

Semakin redupnya bara perlawanan, membuat Italia akhirnya dapat menguasai Libya setelah melakukan pertempuran selama 20 tahun. Meski Italia hanya mampu berkuasa di sana hingga 1943 akibat kekalahannya di Perang Dunia II. Libya kemudian berada di bawah kekuasaan pasukan sekutu hingga 24 Desember 1951. ferry kisihandi/berbagai sumber (RioL)


Omar Al-Mokhtar


On 16 September 1931 the Italians hanged the Libyan fighter [Mojahid] Omar Al-Mokhtar. Omar al-Mokhtar is considered the great symbol for the Libyan resistance (Jihad) against the Italian occupation. In 1922 he reorganized the Mojahideen and re-ignited the resistance against Italy after World War I when the Italians thought that they succeeded in silencing the Libyan resistance. Omar Al-Mokhtar, was ill couple of times and many of his comrades asked him to retire and leave the country, he was 80 years old. But he refused and kept fighting and he deserved a name given to him as “The Lion of the Desert.” On 16 September, 1931 the Italians hanged Omar Al-Mokhtar in the city of Solouq and they forced the Libyans to watch their hero been hanged. No consideration to Omar Al-Mokhtar’s old age, no consideration to international law and no consideration to world war treaties

The Italian Occupation and the Libyan Resistance


In October 1911 the Italian fleet invaded Libya and the Libyans resisted the invaders with whatever little weapons they could get. The Italians first concentrated their attack on the coast cities, Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and Derna. Major battles took place in Al-Hani near Tripoli (October 23, 1911) , Ar-Rmaila near Misrata, Al-Fwaihat near Benghazi (March 1912) and Wadi Ash-Shwaer near Derna. Other battles took place on the coast and in other cities, villages, mountains and desert. One of the major battles was Al-Gherthabiya near Sirt (April 1915) where the Italians lost thousands of their soldiers. Although the Italians succeeded in controling most of Libya after years of resistance and struggle (Jihad), they could not control the whole country because the Libyan fighters (Mojahideen) left their homes and headed for the mountains where they planned their attacks against the Italian armies. Some of the major Libyan fighters (Mojahideen) against the Italians were Omar Al-Moktar [see photo on the right] , Ramadan As-Swaihli, Mohammad Farhat Az-Zawi, Al-Fadeel Bo-Omar, Solaiman Al-Barouni and Silima An-Nailiah to name a few. Omar Al-Moktar is considered the great symbol for the Libyan resistance (Jihad) against the Italian occupation. He reorganized the Mojahideen in The Green Mountain (Aj-Jabal Al-Akdar) North East Libya and he re-ignited the resistance against Italy after World War I when the Italians thought that they succeeded in silencing the Libyan resistance.

Feeling that they may lose Libya to the Mojahideen, the Italian authorities sent one of their bloodiest high ranking officers Badolio who used the most inhuman measures to end the resistance. He did not just lead the fight against Omar Al-Moktar and his comrades, but he also punished even those who were living peacefully in the cities and villages accusing them of helping the Mojahideen. Badolio was not the only one whome the Italian government thought able to end the Libyan resistance through using the most inhumane and blodiest measures. Mosoliny, the infamous Italian dictator, sent another high ranking officer to kill thousands and thousands of inocent Libyans, young and old. fighters and non-fighters. Mosolini thought that the solution to the Libyan problem was Rodolfo Grasiani and by sending him to lead the fight against the Libyans he was telling his cabinet that anything and everything must be done to control Libya.

Grasiani agreed to go to Libya if and only if Mosolini let him do the job without any consideration or respect for rules and laws in Italy or in the World and Mosolini agreed immediately. Before coming to Libya, Grasiani went to Morj, Switzerland where he enjoyed a vacation in which he planned his murderous attack on the Libyans, all Libyans according to Mosoliny’s Motto “If you are not with me, you are against me !” which means the only way to control the country is by killing almost half of its population and the Italians did cause the death of half of Libya’s men, women, elderly and childern, directly through public hangings and shootings and indirectly (hunger, illness and horror) for the sake of one thing: showing the world that they have the power to invade and capture colonies just like the other powers in the world. Grasiani’s plan was: First to isolate Libya completely and prevent any direct or indirect contact between the Mojahideen and their neighbours who supply the Libyan Mojahideen with weapons and information. Grasiani built a wired wall 300 Kilometers long, 2 meters high and 3 meters wide from Bardiyat Slaiman port North Libya to Al-Jagboub South East Libya. The second part of the plan was to built concentration camps where thousands of Libyans must live under complete control of the Italian army. Grasiany built concentration camps in: Al-Aghaila, Al-Maghroun, Solouq and Al-Abiyar to name a few. By the end of November 1929 all Libyans who live in tents in Al-Jabal Al-Akdar, Mortaf-Aat Al-Thahir from Beneena North to Ash-Shlaithemiya South, from Tawkera to the southern desert of Balt Abdel-Hafeeth and all the members of any tribe that has one or more of its sons fighting with Mojahideen, all those and more, thousands and thousands of Libyans were forced to leave their land and live in one of the concentration camps mentioned above.

Life in the camps was miserable and thousands of Libyans died of hunger, illness and some of them were hanged or shot because they believed to be helping the Mojahideen. In 1933, the Italian Army Health Department Chairman, Dr. Todesky wrote in his book (Cerinaica today): “From May 1930 to September 1930 more than 80,000 Libyans were forced to leave their land and live in concentration camps, they were taken 300 at a time watched by soldiers to make sure that the Libyans go directly to the concentration camps. ” Dr. Todesky continued ” By the end of 1930 all Libyans who live in tents were forced to go and live in the camps. 55% of the Libyans died in the camps.” The Libyan historian Mahmoud Ali At-Taeb said in an interview with the Libyan magazine Ash-Shoura (October 1979) that in November 1930 there were at least seventeen funerals a day in the camps due to hunger, illness and depression.

When some world newspapers talked about the inhumane life in the concentration camps in Libya, the Italian army started giving the Libyans some dry parley (22 Kilo-grams per person per month !) which was too little to late. Outside the camps, in the mountains, the Mojahideen continued to fight the Italian occupation, but by the year 1931 the Mojahideen were out of food, out of information and out of ammunitions. The leader of the Mojahideen, Omar Al-Moktar, was ill couple of times and many of his comrades asked him to retire and leave the country, he was 80 years old. But he refused and kept fighting and he deserved a name given to him as “The Lion of the Desert.” In September 16, 1931 the Italians hanged Omar Al-Moktar in the city of Solouq and they forced the Libyans to watch their hero been hanged. No consideration to Omar Al-Moktar’s old age, no consideration to international law and no consideration to world war treaties. But, remember that the Italians caused the death of half of Libya’s population and killing Omar Al-Moktar to the Italians was ending the Libyan resistance which to them means finally taking control of the country after 20 years of struggle. Libya was under the Italian occupation till 1943 when Italy was defeated in World War II and Libya became under the Allies Armies occupation till December 24, 1951 when Libya achieved its independance after years and years of occupation.

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