Africans Lynched in Libya as the World and Media Watch

– By Farouk Martins Aresa –

The whole world is watching, the whole world is watching, the whole world is watching as innocent Africans are being lynched in Libya. The time to act is right now since nobody acted yesterday or day before. It started as a rumor, then it was reported on social network and now we know it is real. The world must act and act quickly.
There are men, women and children dying in the hands of Libyan mobs simply because they look Africans and must therefore be mercenaries because they cannot place their hands on Gadhafi. Mercenaries come in different colors and nationalities and these Africans are ordinary workers like the Egyptian and Tunisians.
We are demanding a special meeting of United Nation to discuss the elimination of Africans by lynching in Libya. If it was any other group, the world will be crying genocide. Not only are African families in danger, Libyan blacks will be lynched before they open their mouths and speak Arabic. Most people watching the atrocities on face book would have seen Arabian features on some of the people caught and tortured to death.
The press published stories of Anti-Gadhafi forces cutting Africans into pieces and posting it on internet but it is yet to catch world outcry or outrage. There is no mention of it at the United Nations by African leaders and countries getting first hand reports are silent. These are not collateral damages of war, these are brutalities of war that must be addressed. So many of the poor African countries have not been able to charter planes, like Nigeria and Kenya to get some of their people out. The longer the Africans remain in Libya, the higher their chances of death from starvation of by the hands of mobs.
The irony is that some of the first Libyan officers to defect from the camp of Gadhafi Armed Forces were Libyan blacks looking for freedom. Other Libyans defecting and looking for the same freedom are being embraced as they killed their blacks and Africans regardless of their loyalties to Libya. Mercenaries in Libya now mean Africans fighting for Gadhafi. All others still loyal and fighting for Gadhafi are not as distinguishable as Africans.
While it is easier for other Libyans soldiers to defect and be hugged, it is harder for black Libyans as they are seen as Gadhafi loyalists. Migrant workers in construction companies are surrounded by Libyan youths, so are their buildings for instant jungle justice. These barbaric acts have been reported but they are lost in the scheme of bigger goal of getting rid of Gadhafi. Well, if the butchering of Africans is ignore as the days go by, there will be no more to rescue. Those calling for the ouster of Gadhafi must also register the plight of African migrant workers stuck between the mobs that are taking out their anger on poor Africans.
The story is how many Africans south of Sahara are being lynched in Libya by both sides and how many are conscripted by Gadhafi and forced to defend themselves or die facing Gadhafi’s opponents and defectors. It is a no win situation for these poor Africans that went to Libya for fortune or were working there when civil war broke out. Others in the same situation as Africans can easily change to either side. Indeed, Africans cannot leave their homes for fear of being mistaken for mercenaries and must starve to death inside.
It is not enough to ignore so many Africans being mutilated to death because the hatred the whole world has for one man has blinded them to the massacre of others. The whole world is watching and sooner or later, the whole world will want to know what was done while Africans are being slaughtered in Libya.  This is not the time to claim nobody knew that was what was going on otherwise it could have been stopped. This is not Rwanda, it is Arabs killing Africans.
This lynching of Africans has only been witnessed on this scale in Libya, not in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia or Algeria. If they kill all the Africans south of Sahara in Libya, they will turn to their own Africans. Arabs have never seen themselves as Africans anyway and the rest of the world sees them as Middle East. The only time Arabs become Africans is when they want to be part of African Union as leaders or when they fight against another country or the rest of the world. Apart from Egypt, the history of Arabs in Africa has been nothing but disaster.

3 comments for “Africans Lynched in Libya as the World and Media Watch

  1. didi
    March 4, 2011 at 7:58 pm


    Benghazi’s port hosts the workers no one wants

    The Associated Press
    Friday, March 4, 2011; 2:07 PM

    BENGHAZI, Libya — On a chilly, wind-swept gravel shore in the Benghazi port, Libya’s forgotten foreign workers shiver in rudimentary warehouses and watch ships pick up evacuees from wealthier nations.

    More than 180,000 of the millions of foreign workers in Libya have already streamed across the Egyptian and Tunisian borders, but many remain stranded – too poor, or in the case of the Africans mistaken for Moammar Gadhafi’s mercenary fighters, too scared to leave.

    The Libyan uprising threw into disarray the enormous number of foreign workers who keep the economy running, doing everything from cleaning hotel rooms to building new houses to running the oil fields.

    Who makes it out is a strict measure of how close their homeland is and the resources of their home government.

    And for the Bangladeshis and the Africans stranded at the port, they are at the bottom of the global pecking order.

    The makeshift camp once held more than 2,000 migrant workers overflowing from the warehouses onto the gravel where they were soaked by the torrential downpours of eastern Libya’s winter. There is more room, however, now that the Vietnamese and Chinese have been evacuated by their governments.

    Many were traumatized by the fighting they saw in the days following the uprising as people were shot and beaten on the streets. They say they are terrified of going back to Benghazi.

    For the Africans, however, the fear is even more acute because of the widespread tales of bloodthirsty “African” mercenaries who are supposedly doing all of Gadhafi’s killing for him.

    At a checkpoint near the rebel-held town of Ajdabiya on Friday, a microbus filled with Africans was stopped, as armed rebels yelled at the men and called them “mercenaries.” A few of the men were dragged off and taken to a guardhouse for interrogation.

    When a reporter asked one of the rebels how he knew they were mercenaries, he responded: “Because they smell.”

    In holding cells of Benghazi’s courthouse were more than a dozen Africans imprisoned for supposedly being mercenaries. Most maintain they are just migrant workers.

    In some cities, suspected mercenaries were lynched, and so many of these Africans have fled to the port for sanctuary – if not ultimately escape.

    “We migrate from our country and we work here, and now there is problem,” said Abdel Basset, a slim 27-year-old day laborer from Ethiopia who is here illegally. “They don’t like black men. If we go out, they might kill us.”

    Basset wouldn’t actually call himself Ethiopian, since he is from that country’s Oromo minority, a small Muslim sect struggling for independence. Most of them long ago tore up their Ethiopian passports and they are truly without a country.

    “We don’t have human rights in our country or here,” he said. “If we go back, it is problem for us, we are colonized.”

    The Oromo left Ethiopia for Sudan before crossing into Libya, where they work as day laborers with no contracts and no hope of a company ship to take them away.

    What they do have is the black skin and the African features that many Libyans in Benghazi have blamed all the bloodshed on.

    “If they see a black man, maybe they kill him. The problem is Gadhafi bought black people to use as soldiers,” said Mohammed Ibrahim, 27, who has worked in Libya for two years.

    African or not, the forgotten workers waiting at the port must watch as those from more fortunate nations are evacuated in front of them.

    “All the time, I hope another ship come here, but my government doesn’t send any ship,” said Marouf Khan, a 22-year-old Bangladeshi who worked for a Libyan company. “All the people go, but I don’t. All the time, I see big ship come, but no one take me.”

    Just a few days earlier, the HMS Cumberland pulled up just across the water and evacuated a few hundred people, including American and British citizens, while sailors served them mugs of hot tea to ward of the chill from the thunderous rain storm. The Africans and Bangladeshis could only watch from a distance.

    Those working for foreign companies, like the Turkish and Chinese corporations with major construction contracts in Benghazi, also were evacuated. The rest were out of luck.

    “It’s dangerous, and if you have no company, no one will take you. I have no money and I don’t understand Arabic,” Khan said.

    Mohammed Anis Burhan, 32, another of the 600 Bangladeshis stranded here, said he was six months into a two- year contract for a Libyan company when the uprising happened and had only received a couple months pay.

    “They give us our passports and tell us to go out,” he said. “My Libyan company will never send me back.”

    Amid the racism and animosity, though, Benghazi’s famed generosity still manages to struggle its way through. The miserable refugees at the port are being cared for by representatives of the committees running the city.

    Businessmen have donated huge sacks of rice, cans of tomato paste and vegetables so the workers receive three very simple meals a day. They have also donated blankets and organized medical visits from doctors.

    “They do everything for you,” including providing milk, medicine, soap and shampoo, said Daniel Ibrahim, 29, who like the others has been living here for the last week.

    Not all the foreign workers from the poorer nations are out of luck. Some, like the Sudanese, have the advantage of good foreign relations and proximity.

    Sudan’s Benghazi consul, Khalid Abbas Ahmed, said that in the past week, they have evacuated at least 2,500 Sudanese from the city through regular minibus rides to the Egyptian border.

    “If there is a problem, I say you can come to my office, and then I pay for them to the border, and from the border, there is the Sudanese Embassy in Cairo, and they take them from the border to Sudan, by air and by Nile,” said Ahmed, wearing a spotless white robe and an expansive Sudanese turban.

    Outside the consulate, the Sudanese pile into waiting minibuses at a rate of 500 a day, Ahmed said.

    He added that the Sudanese are well-known to Libyans and aren’t mistaken for mercenaries.

    Ibrahim Moussa, a 36-year-old Ghanaian with a broad smile and a surprising sense of humor, is not taking any chances. He plans to stay at the port.

    “We need help. We will go anywhere, but who will take us? There is no one,” he said, staring wistfully across the water at a cruise ship. It is here, no doubt, to evacuate some other nationality.

    “Only white people get to go. The black people stay inside,” he said.

    © 2011 The Associated Press

  2. maxie
    March 1, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    If this story is true, why hasn’t the BBC covered it extensively in the last week? There are more than six reporters from BBC outside broadcast present in Libya at any one time.

Leave a Reply