ADDIS ABABA — While much of the world’s attention is focusing on crude oil prices and the Libyan pipelines in the east of the country– human right groups say rebels are committing crimes against humanity.
In east Libya, African hunt began as towns and cities began fall under the control of Libyan rebels, mobs and gangs. They started to detain, insult, rape and even executing black immigrants, students and refugees.
In the past two weeks, more than 100 Africans from various Sub-Sahara states are believed to have been killed by Libyan rebels and their supporters.
According to Somali refugees in Libya, at least five Somalis from Somaliland and Somalia were executed in Tripoli and Benghazi by anti-Gaddafi mobs. Dozens of refugees and immigrants workers from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Mali and Niger have been killed, some of them were led into the desert and stabbed to death. Black Libyan men receiving medical care in hospitals in Benghazi were reportedly abducted by armed rebels. They are part of more than 200 African immigrants held in secret locations by the rebels.
In many disputes involving Libyan residents and black Africans, the Libyans are turning in the Africans as mercenaries.
Thousands more Africans caught up in this mercenary hysteria are terrified. Some barricaded themselves in their homes, while others hid in the desert. Insulted, threatened, beaten, chased and robbed. Their only crime was being black and therefore treated as “mercenaries” of Gaddafi.
While the airing of Gaddafi’s so called “black mercenaries” by Western media has ignited the issue, some say an xenophobic attitude towards these refugees and labourers has existed for years. They say the current attacks are racially motivated because the rebels have released many actual Libyan mercenaries and soldiers under a tribal agreement. They believe many Arabs felt their Libyan leader was abandoning them for black Africans ever since he became a “pan-Africanist”. Many immigrants were regularly victims of racism.
In many situations, Gaddafi and his inner circle preferred black Africans and Libyans from the south over Libyans from the east. Now the angry mobs using the revolutionary movement across Arabia and North Africa are hunting down black people.