Blacks in Libya Still Targeted by anti-Gaddafi Forces

Compiled by Samuel Dowell

Blacks in Libya Still Targeted by anti-Gaddafi Forces: killings, beatings, abuse

One quarter of indigenous Libyans are black Africans. In addition to that, there were over 1 million workers from Sub-Saharan African countries, including Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, in Libya at the start of the uprising. On September 13th, Amnesty International reported that:

“'Widespread, but largely unfounded reports that Gaddafi forces were relying on Sub-Saharan African mercenaries to fight the opposition put them at heightened risk in areas that fell under the control of the NTC. Racist and xenophobic rhetoric, already frequent before the unrest, increased as a result of the breakdown of law and order.” (p.80)(Link)

“The allegations about the use of mercenaries proved to be largely unfounded. Many captured al-Gaddafi fighters, including those interviewed by Amnesty International in Benghazi and Misratah, were in fact Libyan nationals, including individuals from places such as Sabha in the south-west of Libya and from the Tawargha region east of Misratah. Due to their black skin and Sub-Saharan African features, they were mistaken for foreign mercenaries. However, NTC officials did little to correct the false assumption and instead fed the flames of hatred and resentment.(p.83)

“NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil claimed in media interviews that Colonel al-Gaddafi was using ‘African mercenaries’ against his own people. Such claims were especially irresponsible in the climate of insecurity and fed existing racism and xenophobia in Libya and signaled that abuses against foreign nationals would be tolerated by the NTC. (p.83) Further, “NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil promised to ‘close the borders in front of these Africans’. (Statement by Mustafa Abdel Jalil: عبد الجليل ـ سنعمل على إغلاق الحدود في وجه المرتزقة)(p.89)

“When al-Bayda, Benghazi, Derna, Misratah and other cities first fell under the control of the opposition in the third week of February, house raids, killings, lynching and other violent attacks were perpetrated by supporters of the “17 February Revolution” against individuals believed to be foreign mercenaries on account of their skin color.p.82)

Throughout the 6-month conflict, Sub-Saharan African nationals were attacked on what have proved to be largely unfounded suspicions that they were foreign “mercenaries” hired by Colonel al-Gaddafi, and it hasn’t stopped.

Tawergha, a City of Blacks in Libya population 20,000 Emptied by Rebels

Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., reacting to reports in The Wall Street Journal has called for an investigation by the International Criminal Court into the reported killings of Black Libyans in the city of Tawergha.

Rep. Jackson (D-IL-2) also tells The Black Star News he will ask that U.S. assistance for reconstruction and transition to democracy in Libya be conditional. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that rebels from Misurata had torched the homes that belonged to the predominantly dark-skinned residents of the city of Tawergha, which is now abandoned.

A Journal reporter witnessed some of the torching and wrote that the words "slaves" and "negroes" were scribbled on the walls of the now emptied homes.

The town's entire population of 20,000 is gone.

In an earlier news report The Wall Street Journal reported that rebels from the city of Misurata had declared that Tawergha would be "no more" and that the units conducting the attacks was named "The Brigade for Purging Slaves, black Skin."

The Wall Street Journal Tuesday also reported that the Transitional National Council's (TNC) "prime minister" Mahmoud Jibril, referring to the reported atrocities in Tawergha by rebels, said: "Regarding Tawergha my own viewpoint is that nobody has the right to interfere in this matter except the people of Misurata." [Source]

Now in Control, Libyan Rebels Take Revenge

Twargha’s problems have been compounded by the fact that most of its population is black, Libyan citizens who descended from slaves. For those intent on revenge, all dark-skinned people are lumped together with blacks from sub-Saharan Africa the rebels say fought for Al-Qaddafi as mercenaries.

“Many people joined the rebels for the sole purpose of revenge. They are carrying out systematic attacks on black people. Sometimes in an arbitrary manner,” Thomas Dehermann-Roy, representative of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid (Echresponse), told The Media Line.

Aid workers and rights activists warn that the attacks and killings will only grow worse once rebels take over Sabha, Bani Walid and Sirte, the major remaining Al-Qaddafi strongholds. On Wednesday, the NTC's military spokesmen said its forces had seized the outpost of Jufra about 700 kilometers southeast of Tripoli, and most of Sabha. The claim could not be confirmed.

Mahmoud Sharman, a spokesperson of the NTC, said rebels should be focusing on starting a new Libya, away from desires of revenge.

But rebels maintain that Shaman and other members of the NTC made it clear to them that they do not oppose attacks on black people who supported Qaddafi.

“Sharman told us to do whatever we want with the black people who supported Qaddafi. This also applies for many others of the NTC,” a senior military commander from Zenten, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, told The Media Line. Other rebels have confirmed that the meeting took place. [Source]

Times LIVE, Johannesburg, South Africa
Justice Malala
19 September, 2011

They are killing black people in Libya. They are killing them in the street, they are killing them in hospitals, they are killing them in transit camps, and they are killing them in their houses.

They are not killing any old African. They are killing black Africans, the dark, sub-Saharan Africans. Skin tone, the darkness of one's skin, has become for many blacks in Libya the difference between prison and freedom, death and life.

The rebels who gunned for the toppling of the dictator Muammar Gaddafi have for the past six months been killing anyone who looks dark. Given that there are between a million and two million black Africans in Libya, a slow and under-reported massacre is unfolding in that country.

No one is saying anything.

African newspapers and television channels report on the conflict as if they are European, Chinese or American. We never write about the fact that over the past few months anyone with a dark skin has been stopped in the streets of Libya and searched. It is almost like the days of apartheid. These people are then either arrested, tortured or murdered.

No one cares about their fate. They are black after all, and black life is cheapest among Africans. That is why we are not up in arms.

On August 31 an Amnesty International team reported that black Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans "are at high risk of abuse by anti-Gaddafi forces".

"An Amnesty delegation visiting the Central Tripoli Hospital last Monday witnessed three thuwwar revolutionaries (as opposition fighters are commonly known) dragging a black patient from the western town of Tawargha from his bed and detaining him. The men were in civilian clothing.

"The thuwwar said the man would be taken to Misratah for questioning, arguing that interrogators in Tripoli 'let killers free'. Two other black Libyans receiving treatment in the hospital for gunshot wounds were warned by the anti-Gaddafi forces that 'their turn was coming'."

Amnesty International is being extremely diplomatic with its language. Human rights activists are reporting that black people have been disappearing all over Libya over the past nine months as the rebels started taking out Gaddafi forces. As rebels arrived in towns, they merely sought out blacks and either killed them on the spot or arrested them. Many have died of starvation in those "prisons".

Wherever alleged Gaddafi forces are found to have been executed, most of those murdered have been black. Video footage of ordinary black men who have been working in Libya being executed is available on the internet. Their sin is that some black mercenaries worked for Gaddafi, and their sin now is that they are black.

The US and Nato, after helping the rebels bomb Libya, have been quiet on this issue. They have blood on their hands. Would they be so quiet if whites were being murdered in such large numbers in Libya?

And where are the Africans? The AU is petulant, refusing to speak or intervene, while their brothers and sisters are being murdered.

What a courageous bunch. [Source]

Rebels killing Libyan blacks
Torture, lynchings, beheadings described as ethnic cleansing
Posted: September 19, 2011

There are persistent reports that U.S.-backed Libyan rebels are killing black Libyans in towns and villages near Tripoli. The rebels committing the slaughter have the backing of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, without which they would not have ousted the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, who remains in hiding amid reports that he is preparing a counter-insurgency campaign against the loosely controlled rebels.

Nevertheless, what observers report as systematic rape, torture, executions by being shot in the back of the head, lynchings, beheadings and horrific internment is happening to black Libyans principally in the towns of Misurata, neighboring Tawergha and in other small towns in the sub-Sahara populated mostly by black Libyans and people from the other black African countries.

In Tawergha, for example, sources say that many of the homes once occupied by black Libyans have been vacated, with many having been ransacked or torched. In referring to the plight of the black Libyans, NTC head Mahmoud Jibril said that "nobody has the right to interfere in this matter except the people of Misurata."

As the source pointed out, it is the people of Misurata who are undertaking ethnic cleansing. [Source]

Daily Times of Nigeria
September 15, 2011

Having witnessed sectional violence and the madness that is unexplainable xenophobia, I know a little bit about what my compatriots and other blacks are facing now in Libya. They are being hunted, killed and treated worse than beasts; all because they have skin coloration that are pixels darker than that of the average northern Libyan.

Since the uprising in March, the rebel forces have shown a higher capacity of hatred for black Africans and have being lynching them with abandon, under the nose of their NATO masters. Even now, when it is clear that there are large numbers of indigenous blacks in Libya, as well as hundreds of thousands of economic immigrants from all over Africa in Libya, NATO persists in talking about escaping mercenaries, further putting thousands of Sub-Saharan Africans in harm’s way.

By painting the thousands of economic refugees in Libya as Gaddafi mercenaries, the western press clearly marked them for death and succeeded in reducing the number of people who would be attempting the sea crossing to Europe. By working on the natural racism of Arab Libyans, traditionally tilted towards blacks, the west has cleverly found a new way to police the precious borders. [Source]

Blacks in Libya: Dehumanization of blacks in Libya

Nigerian parliament summons minister over 'dehumanization' of blacks in Libya

Disturbed by reports of alleged 'brutalisation and dehumanisation of Nigerians and other black Africans in Libya' following the overthrow of Mouammar Kadhafi, the Nigerian House of Representatives Thursday resolved to summon Foreign Affairs Minister Olugbenga Ashiru to brief members on measures taken to protect Nigerian citizens living in that country.

The House resolution came following a motion sponsored by Senator Abubakar Momoh on the war in Libya and the need to evacuate Nigerians still trapped in the war-torn North African country. [Source]

The Sun, Nigeria
September 13, 2011

Nigeria has formally protested the killing of Nigerians in Libya to the rebel leadership under the National Transitional Council (NTC), Britain and France, and called for their intervention to stop the killings.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, some senators and members of House of Representatives confirmed receiving reports of attacks on Nigerians in Tripoli, Benghazi, Gath, Agadez and Sirte, the hometown of Gaddafi. News of Nigerian men, women and children held up in their homes without food and other supplies out of fear of being shot are rife. Those who venture out of their homes stand the risk of being killed. This situation calls for decisive action from Nigerian authorities, which has already recognized the NTC as the authentic government in Libya. [Source]

Killing of Blacks in Libya By NATO-backed Rebels Continues
Milton Allimadi
September 13, 2011

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Black people have been emptied from the City of Tawergha in Libya, their homes razed, and that the words "slaves" and "negroes" are scribbled on their abandoned buildings in the now ghost town by the NATO-backed rebels. Meanwhile, the so-called "prime minister" of the "rebels" Mahmoud Jibril, is quoted in the Journal, with respect to the fate of the Black citizens of Tawergha, saying: "Regarding Tawergha my own viewpoint is that nobody has the right to interfere in this matter except the people of Misurata," who are actually the ones doing the cleansing. Surely Jibril knows that he's inciting to further ethnic cleansing.

An earlier Wall Street Journal article had reported that the Misurata unit carrying out the deed is called "The Brigade for Purging Slaves, black Skin." Hillary Clinton's Department of State remains mute. The leaders of organizations that profess to protect the rights of Black people, such as the NAACP's Ben Jealous and the National Urban League's Marc Morial, have yet to make statements. Surely, someone must read The Wall Street Journal. [Source 1] (New York) [Source 2]




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