African Union Commission Chairman, Dr. Jean Ping, has disclosed that the Libyan rebels under the so-called Transitional National Council have been engaged in massive killings of black Africans from mainland Africa, as well as Libyans who have darker skins.
Reports say the victims include black Libyans, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Kenyans, and other citizens of sub-Saharan African, pretending that they are “mercenaries” hired by Gaddafi rather than their innate hatred of black Africans.
According to the report, no fewer than 20 black men were found dead outside Col Gaddafi’s compound after Libyan rebels captured Tripoli. Their hands were tied behind their backs and some of them had been shot in the head.
On the road south out of Tripoli, about 200 black people were also said to be hiding in a small encampment made of two small outbuildings shielded by a small wall and a metal door.
Amnesty International said it was told that between one third and half of those detained were from sub-Saharan Africa.
Scores of black men were arrested during the battle for the Col Gaddafi stronghold of Abu Salim in Tripoli. According to reports, some migrants were said to be stranded near a seaside resort, others had fled the city.
Dr Ping told reporters on Monday that this is one of the reasons the AU is refusing to recognize Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council as the country’s interim government. He said “We need clarification because the TNC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries. They are killing normal workers. We want to see a signal that the African workers will be evacuated.”
Speaking after a Peace and Security meeting, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who chaired the meeting, noted that the decision of the African Union is totally sound; however, not for the reasons they adduced, but for the fact that the rebels need to account for the killings of black Africans, not for the pretensions of “confusing them as mercenaries hired by Gaddafi,” but because of the anti-black, racist and innate hatred of black Africans, even though there are a million dark Africans who are Libyan citizens and are maltreated as well.
However, Amnesty official, Claudio Cordone was quoted as saying: “We have to fear for what may be happening to detainees out of the sight of independent observers. Many risk reprisals as a result of allegations that Gaddafi forces used African mercenaries during the conflict.
Amnesty welcomed calls by the NTC for its supporters to treat captives with dignity and to avoid revenge attacks. But the council must do more to ensure that their fighters do not abuse detainees, especially the most vulnerable ones such as black Libyans and sub-Saharan Africans.