NATO-backed Libyan regime persecutes black Africans

The persecution and killing of black immigrants and Libyans is a devastating refutation of all those who claimed that imperialist war could bring democracy to Libya. They bear full political responsibility for the war’s cost in destroyed or ruined lives.

Peter Symonds, 9 September 2011,

The widespread racist persecution of immigrant African workers and black Libyans by forces opposed to Libyan ruler Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is a damning indictment of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) and its Western backers.

The US and its European allies launched their neo-colonial war against the Gaddafi regime on the pretext of protecting civilians and have hailed their new client regime as the beginning of a new era of democracy in Libya. Mass racist reprisals in NTC-held areas are yet another devastating exposure of these tattered lies. As well as killing and maiming civilians through its relentless bombing, NATO bears responsibility for the arbitrary arrest, physical abuse or extra-judicial killings of thousands of black Africans by its NTC proxies.

US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called for an end to the systematic detention of black Africans accused of fighting as Gaddafi’s mercenaries. HRW regional director Sarah Leah Whitson stated: “It’s a dangerous time to be dark-skinned in Tripoli. The NTC should stop arresting African migrants and black Libyans unless it has concrete evidence of criminal activity. It should also take concrete steps to protect them from violence and abuse.”


The US and the European powers, who had collaborated closely with Gaddafi over the previous decade, turned on their former ally to seize critical oil resources and establish the NTC as a proxy regime—serving as a bulwark against the revolutionary uprisings against US-backed dictatorships in Egypt and other countries of the Middle East.


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