Mohamed Fekini and the Fight to Free Libya by Angelo Del Boca

By Angelo Del Boca

This booklet presents an important background of Italy's brutal profession of Libya. utilizing the lens of the lifetime of the enduring resistance fighter Mohamed Fekini, it tells the tale of Libya below Ottoman and Italian rule from the viewpoint of the colonized.

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They had been mistaken about Suleiman el-Baruni, and had shown great esteem and respect for him before they discovered his faults and his duplicity. In reality, Baruni was a great menace in the heart of the Muslim army. His mendacity provided the enemy a great service at a low cost, because he had dealt a murderous blow to the enthusiastic esprit of the fighters, who were now disheartened. 3 Continuing his attack upon his former ally, Mohamed Fekini explained that the Turkish military leaders “had maintained silence in order to preserve unity and solidarity during the war.

I organized a far-flung postal system covering the entire territory. I set up telegraph and telephone offices, extending all the way to the Tunisian border. 12 Of this miniature state, Suleiman el-Baruni had himself immediately proclaimed emir, triggering the fury of the governor in Tripoli, General Ragni, who had in the meantime successfully began his drive into Tripolitania, occupying Suani Ben Adem, el-Azizia; and Funduq Ben Ghashir, the three strongholds of the previously existing ArabTurkish defensive structure before Tripoli.

3. The recruitment of soldiers from the population of the Jebel was decidedly successful, in part because the order had arrived from the Sublime Porte as well to conduct a jihad, or holy war. This is how Mohamed Fekini recalls those events: I tried to assemble all of the fit men capable of fighting and I readied the material needed for war. I was accompanied in this mission by my brother Aboubaker Fekini, by Omar Arrab Bey, and all the inhabitants of my country. In the end, I was able to lead down into the prairies a great number of footsoldiers and horsemen, to the sound of beating drums.

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