Monday, July 4, 2011

Lynchings in Libya

The photograph on Colonel Gaddafi’s chest shows the arrest by Italian troops in 1931 of the Libyan guerrilla leader Omar al-Mukhtar — the Lion of the Desert.

Al-Mukhtar (1858-1931) was a disciple of the Senussis, a deeply conservative order of Islamic ascetics. Its strict variety of Islam spread through eastern Libya, gaining adherents partly by offering social services such as schools and access to wells. For 20 years until his capture, al-Mukhtar was a leading figure of the resistance.

Al-Mukhtar was hanged on September 16, 1931, shortly after his capture in an ambush.

Asked if he wished to say any last words, he replied with a phrase from the Koran: “From Allah we have come, and to Allah we will return.”

The photo of the lynchings were captioned as having taken place in Libya under the Gaddafi regime, over ten years ago.

Then there's the story of Huda Ben Amer - "Huda the Hangwomen." She earned her nickname as the former Mayor of Benghazi, who had - thirty years ago, hung a young Libyan engineering student and dissident Sadek Hamed Al-Shuwehdy at the school basketball arena.

Report: The students were deeply shocked. Some pleaded in vain for mercy for Sadek. But not all. As he was hanging and writhing but obviously not yet dead, Huda Ben Amer ran out from the crowd of students, grabbed onto his body and with her weight pulled it down to make sure he died.It was an act that still shocks Libyans. It earned her the name of Huda Al-Shaniqah, "Huda the Hangwoman."

Early in the revolution, there were reports that Gaddafi had hired foreign mercenaries from Southern African nations to suppress the insurrection and some of these men were captured by rebels. In response, many of the Arabs in the recently liberated sections of the country began rounding up all dark skinned blacks and accusing them of being mercenaries, when in fact, many were migrant workers and even native born Libyans.

REPORT: East of the country, mercenaries were hunted down by protestors with police help. Sending in mercenaries [to intimidate demonstrators] is a strategic mistake for Gaddafi. The only thing it does is convince police officers and soldiers to turn against the regime. [- and blacks in general.]

Today, these three towns were surrounded by mercenary troops. One of my sources in Benghazi told me that some of them were captured by protesters. That’s how we know that they’re from Chad or Mauritania. They’re dressed in military uniforms and they sometimes wear yellow helmets. They’re dressed like Gaddafi’s soldiers but they are black”.

In the video, the captured man answers questions being asked by the mob of protestors in Arabic.

A protestor: “Who is giving you orders”?
The man: “They come from up high. I swear, I swear…orders, orders”.
A protestor: “They told you to fire at us”?
The man: “Yes, yes”.

The mob begins to fight. Numerous voices begin to shout “no, don’t do that…make him talk. We cannot act like they do”.

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.

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