As NATO’s forces consolidate their hold on Libya, many are expressing their fears about ethnic cleansing. Throughout the conflict, there were many reports of attacks by NATO-backed forces against darker-skinned peoples in Libya. The mainstream press encouraged these lynchings of blacks by publishing numerous angry reports about Gaddafi’s use of mercenaries from Africa — an ironic claim, since the entire anti-Gaddafi cause was a mercenary one financed by NATO. In addition, the number one employer of mercenaries in the world is the United States — who is currently using massive mercenary forces in their occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. (1)
The chairman of the African Union Jean Ping said that the NATO-backed forces are indiscriminately killing the black population of Libya, which comprises a third of the population, and African migrants:
“NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries,” AU chairman Jean Ping said Monday, referring to the rebels’ National Transitional Council. “All blacks are mercenaries. If you do that, it means (that the) one-third of the population of Libya, which is black, is also mercenaries. They are killing people, normal workers, mistreating them.”(2)
These atrocities by NATO-backed forces are cited as one of the reasons that the African Union will not recognize the NATO-backed regime. Richard Sollom, deputy director of Physicians for Human Rights, who is back from a June fact-finding mission in Misrata, Libya, stated:
“I really fear vigilante justice and retribution and attacks by civilians against other civilians.” (3)
Sollom said Monday that his group knew of about 500 Darfuris “who are desperately trying to get out of Libya. They have no money, they are basically homeless because they are from Darfur, and they very much fear for their lives because of the color of their skin.” (4) He added that guest workers from Sudan, Chad, Darfur and other sub-Saharan African locales were also targeted.
NATO has no concern for human rights. The imperialists have never been concerned with human rights. They are concerned with control of the resources of Libya and the Third World. They are concerned with maintaining their regional power. The regime change in Libya by NATO was a brazen act of imperialist aggression. It was designed to ensure continued flow of value from the Third World to the First World. (5) The NATO-backed forces spread the most racist lies in order to encourage a bloodbath against black Libyans and others into to maintain their imperial power.
NATO is encouraging a narrow and reactionary form of nationalism to divide and conquer Libya. Sam Dagher reports:
“Some of the hatred of Tawergha has racist overtones that were mostly latent before the current conflict. On the road between Misrata and Tawergha, rebel slogans like ‘the brigade for purging slaves, black skin’ have supplanted pro-Gadhafi scrawl.” (6)
The violence against black Libyans is brutal. (7)(8) Many black Libyans are being rounded up and detained. (9) Anwar bin Naji, who helps run a detainment facility for black Libyans, said the following:
“They [the detainees] are all arrested by rebels or by civilians who love the homeland.” (10)
Other black Libyans are holed up in refugee camps, terrified of leaving due to the so-called rebels, who threaten to rape and kill them. (11) The refugees are calling for assistance from the United Nations, despite the fact that the UN has been nothing more than an arm of imperialism throughout the conflict.
A 25-year-old man from Mali, who is as of the time of writing being detained in a school along with 75 other detainees, said the following regarding his arrest at his home:
“At about 10 p.m. a big group of Libyans came with the owner of the building. They tied us up, took all of our passports and possessions, and beat us. They brought us to a big mosque in the neighborhood, and then they went to other African houses and arrested them. In the end, they had more than 200 Africans in there. Then they put us on vehicles and took us around town shouting ‘Allahu Akhbar!’ [‘God is great’] and saying we were mercenaries they had captured.” (12)
The streets of Tripoli are littered with the bodies of black Libyans and migrants, their hands tied behind their backs. (13) NATO is complicit in the ethnic cleansing. Gaddafi, by contrast, has always encouraged African unity and pan-Africanism — even if his leadership was unscientific and flawed. Leading Light Communists support the unity of all exploited and oppressed peoples, the unity of the Third World and their allies, against the First World. Those so-called “leftists” who stood with imperialism, NATO and MI6 are totally discredited in the eyes of the world. The Leading Light has always taken a principled stand. Support the broad united front. Hold the red flag high. Critical support to all those fighting imperialism.
1 Cenus counts 100,000 contractors in Iraq xhttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/04/AR2006120401311.html
2 AU head: Libya rebels may be killing black workers xhttp://news.yahoo.com/au-head-libya-rebels-may-killing-black-workers-153142974.html
5 Maximillian Forte, “The War in Libya: Race, ‘Humanitarianism’, and the Media” xhttp://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2011/forte200411.html
6 Libyan rebel ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people xhttp://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2011/07/07/libya-ethnic-cleansing/
7 Lynching in Benghazi xhttp://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2011/07/17/lynching-in-benghazi/
8 Amnesty and racist rebel atrocities in Libya http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2011/08/31/amnesty-racist-rebel-atrocities-libya/
9 Libyan rebels round up black Africans xhttp://news.yahoo.com/libyan-rebels-round-black-africans-130723394.html
11 Dark skinned people in Libya say they suffer at hands of fighters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tnJ7jt97d4
12 Human Rights Watch and persecution of black people in Tripoli http://humanrightsinvestigations.org/2011/09/04/human-rights-watch-and-persecution-of-black-people-in-tripoli/