Conflict in Libya Racism War crimes

Libyan rebel ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people

Further specific evidence has emerged that there is a strong racist element within the rebel forces, including at command level, and it is the stated intention of these forces to ethnically cleanse areas they capture of their dark-skinned inhabitants.

Racism amongst the rebels including at command level

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, journalist Sam Dagher pointed out the obvious fact that the Libyan war is aggravating ethnic tensions in that country. The article talks about the fate of Tawergha, a small town 25 miles to the south of Misrata, inhabited mostly by black Libyans, a legacy of its 19th-century origins as a transit town in the slave trade:

Ibrahim al-Halbous, a rebel commander leading the fight near Tawergha, says all remaining residents should leave once if his fighters capture the town.  “They should pack up,” Mr. Halbous said. “Tawergha no longer exists, only Misrata.”

Other rebel leaders are reported as:

“calling for drastic measures like banning Tawergha natives from ever working, living or sending their children to schools in Misrata.”

In addition, according to the article, as a result of the battle for Misrata:

nearly four-fifths of residents of Misrata’s Ghoushi neighborhood were Tawergha natives. Now they are gone or in hiding, fearing revenge attacks by Misratans, amid reports of bounties for their capture.

Amid allegations of black mercenaries and stories of mass rape by the inhabitants of Tawergha, Sam Dagher reports on further evidence of the racism amongst the rebel forces:

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.

The racial tensions have been fueled by the regime’s alleged use of African mercenaries to violently suppress demonstrators at the start of the Libyan uprising in February, and the sense that the south of the country, which is predominantly black,  mainly backs Col. Gadhafi.

This information has already been publicised, in the WSJ and also in the Black Star News. Bryan Chan of the Los Angeles Times reports visiting a prison in Benghazi, where terrified black men were paraded for the cameras (with Human Rights Watch silently taking notes). One man bravely protested he was just a guest worker and the guards presented a Gambian passport as proof he was a Gaddafi operative. Chan’s Libyan interpreter asked:

“So what do you think? Should we just go ahead and kill them?”

There is a lot of horrific video footage clearly showing public lynchings in Benghazi (link to graphic description of some of the footage). including at the rebel HQ, beheadings of blindfolded prisoners and interrogation of prisoners, including in hospitals.

The myth of black mercenaries leads to lynchings

Other evidence of the massacres of black people, which include the lynchings and murder of black soldiers of the Libyan army, guest workers from other African countries and dark-skinned Libyan civilians include a report from the BBC on 25 February which cited a Turkish construction worker as saying:

“We had 70-80 people from Chad working for our company. They were cut dead with pruning shears and axes, attackers saying: ‘You are providing troops for Gaddafi.’ The Sudanese were also massacred. We saw it for ourselves.”

On 27th February Nick Meo of The Telegraph reported from Al-Bayda that he had been shown mobile phone footage of a ‘captured mercenary‘ (presumably he means black person with a uniform) lynched from a street lamp as well as a ‘black African hanging on a meat hook.’

Amnesty International crisis researcher, Donatella Rovera spent the period from 27 February to 29th May in Misrata, Benghasi, Ajabiya and Ras Lanouf. Yesterday she was interviewed by Austria’s ‘The Standard’ and had this to say on the subject:

“We examined this issue in depth and found no evidence. The rebels spread these rumours everywhere, which had terrible consequences for African guest workers: there was a systematic hunt for migrants, some were lynched and many arrested. Since then, even the rebels have admitted there were no mercenaries, almost all have been released and have returned to their countries of origin, as the investigations into them revealed nothing.”

Who spread the myth and why?

So what accounts for the widespread popularity of this myth? It is, to be frank, an example of highly successful propaganda, appealing to the basest of racial stereotypes. The myth was highly important in gaining consent for the operation in Libya, in order to cover up and justify the massacres  of black people taking place.

In account after account, the mercenary myth is used to justify the imprisoning and killing of black people and this process continues today.  Given the background of racial tension in Libya, including the October 2000 race riots which led to the killings of 200 people with 1000s forced to flee, the consequences of the spreading of this propaganda were entirely predictable and constitute incitement to commit atrocities.

The myth of black mercenaries was spread by certain political leaders including members of the National Transitional Council in Benghazi, British Defence Minister Liam Fox and NATO spokesperson Oana Longescu .

According to Amnesty, allegations of “African mercenaries” have led to the lynchings

The viagra myth

On the viagra myth beloved of the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, Donatella Rovera had this to say:

“No one really took that seriously did they? On the 21 March, after the first air strikes on Gadaffi’s troops outside Benghazi, a young man who worked in the media centre presented us with many boxes of the potency drug. He claimed to have found them in the destroyed tanks. The vehicles had been completely burnt out, but the packaging looked brand new. I can not believe that anyone took him seriously.”

NATO enabling human rights abuses

So is NATO actually “protecting civilians” – or is it rather supporting rebels, some of whom who intend to harm dark-skinned Libyans and ethnically cleanse areas over which they take control?

The information contained in this post, is widely known and has been reported in the Independent and other newspapers, so NATO can not claim ignorance of the facts.

As this is being written, the”brigade for purging slaves and black skin,” is advancing on Tawurgha, supported by NATO strikes from the air and on the ground by Special Forces. A rebel commander has declared the intention is to wipe the town off the map and we have already seen the lynchings of black people and the driving out of black people from Ghoushi.

By continuing to escalate the conflict in Libya, allowing the arming and supporting the rebel side, providing bombing support to enable them to advance and refusing to implement a cease-fire as demanded by the United Nations and African Union, NATO is enabling serious abuses of human rights and NATO officials will certainly be held to account.

26 September – Please click here for a comprehensive update on the Tawergha

187 replies on “Libyan rebel ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people”

Thank you for starting showing the truth…
This is a war from the rich countries to a poor one to steal their resources…

Truth is always the idea that other one told you, and also the one you want to believe.
There are some countries will benefit after new government arise the power, but dont forgot this: before the uprising again, Gaddafi has already cooperate with western governments, even allow some western company build the oil refinery in Libya. They can simply support the dictator government to gain the more profit from them. Same as China and Russia who strongly support Assad for respectively need.

Something has to be done to stop the massacre of the wonderful civilians of Libya…
This has been unjust without cause right from the start…
it has just been killlng destroying and bombing
Stop Bombing Libya ….

Good to see some new work here, and fine work at that. I can only disagree with one line:
“NATO officials will certainly be held to account.”

Should. Will? Maybe not. It’s sick that the response to this threat of ethnic cleansing is greeted by NATO with a bombing of the threatened town, killing 15 civilians. “Run away from our bombs before we have to see more rebel lynching by the new government!” (Stricter control now on posting embarrassing videos anyway, I would presume).

Oh, seeing a still of the video at Uruknet, I realize it’s not new as I hoped. I have that one as well, and used it in “The Sniped Tykes of Misrata” video. It is disturbing, but relatively speaking, mild. I saw a translation somewhere, where they were being taunted to try and get free with their commando skills. Not sure if that’s accurate …

[…] #Libyan “ #rebel “ #ethniccleansing & lynching #blackpeople (via HR investigations) #NATO #OperationUnifiedProtector Further specific evidence has emerged that there is a strong racist element within the rebel forces, including at command level, and it is the stated intention of these forces to ethnically cleanse areas they capture of their dark-skinned inhabitants. Racism amongst the rebels including at command level In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, journalist Sam Dagher pointed out the obvious fact that the Libyan war is aggravating ethnic tens … Read More […]

All african countries should not reconise NTC as part of AU they can be part of EU, Why kill fellow black man, African countries should deport all lybians from their countries, if these NATO supported bastards rebels want to be isolated from the rest of africa then we support the looting of their oil by the west!

lol u are stupid! only africa will lose out by deporting libyans and becoming racist.
The fact is african countries are in denial and pretending that mercinaries is made up, but the evidnece in Libya shows otherwise! Libyans are not racist.
we have a very large percentage of Libyans who are black.
some of my family are black libyans and they ahvent seen or experienced any racism!

Libyan rebels are racist

Media habitually tells us that Libyan rebels are noble freedom fighters, struggling aganist a bloodthirsty tyrant. But after all the buckets of half-truths and blatant lies, that news poured on our heads, treating us viewers like brainless sheep and feeding us half-baked reports that often got disproved the next day, some of us started to look further and investigate. What they found out, is extremely disturbing. Say, from the very beginning of war we’ve been hearing reports about “Gaddafi’s black mercenaries”. We even saw photos and videos of several people that, supposedly, were these mercenaries. But the whole truth is much more complicated – and scary.

Yes, there indeed are several divisions of black Africans and citizens of Chad in the army of Libya, that is formed on the principle of territorial militia. But they can hardly be considered mercenaries – not more than French Foreign Legion or non-American citizens in US Army. In general, the status of black men of Libyan army’s various units is civil servants.

In a country with 6 million inhabitants, one third are black (the most oppressed group in the country). Would not it be easier for the rebels to call for their solidarity and ask them join the rebel ranks? But not only black Libyans do not join the rebellion – they flee in terror.

The first wave of reports and evidence of beatings of black Africans began in February and March. The rebels, under the trademark of fighting with the mercenaries from Chad, were slaughtering all black people with no mercy. They even started to post various Youtube videos with their actions filmed (like this: The victim was the Libyan citizen Hisham Mansour, born 22-02-1983). Back in early March, the Human Rights Watch even warned black migrant workers on the need to flee the revolutionary terrain.

“We left behind our friends from Chad. We left behind their bodies. We had 70 or 80 people from Chad working for our company. They cut them dead with pruning shears and axes, attacking them, saying you’re providing troops for Gaddafi. The Sudanese, the Chadians were massacred. We saw it ourselves. I am a worker, not a fighter. They took me from my house and [raped] my wife”, – a Turkish oilfield worker, who fled Libya, told BBC in February 25.

One of the editors of the Monthly Review, Yoshie Furuhashi, writes:

“The black African workers now live in fear in the territories held by the rebels in Libya. Some have been attacked by mobs, some have been imprisoned and some of their houses and shops have been torched. Many African workers say they felt safer under the regime of Gaddafi”.

In March, a reporter from the Daily Mail was in Benghazi and reported:

“Africans I saw ranged from a 20 year old and a late forties, with a grizzled beard. Most wore casual clothes. When they realized that I spoke English erupted in protests. “We did nothing,” one told me, before he was silenced. “We are all construction workers in Ghana. Do not harm anyone. ”

Another accused, a man in green overalls, showed the paint on their sleeves and said: “This is my job. I do not know how to shoot a gun ”

Abdul Nasser, 47, protested: “They lie about us. They took us out of our house at night when we were asleep. ” While still complaining, they were taken.

International Business Times published an article on March 2 that says:

“According to reports, over 150 black Africans at least a dozen different countries escaped from Libya by plane and landed at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, with horrific stories of violence.”

“We were attacked by locals who said they were mercenaries who killed people. I mean blacks who refused to see “Julius told Reuters Kiluu, a construction supervisor for 60 years.

Michel Collon with a fact-finding delegation were in Libya in July and when he learned what had happened, he said:

“I met these people during my research in Tripoli. I could talk to some people. They were not “mercenaries,” as the rebels and the media tell. Some were dark-skinned Libyans (much of the population is of African type, in fact), others were black civilians from African countries who stayed in Libya for a long time. All support Gaddafi precisely because he opposes to racism and treats them as Arabs and Africans on an equal footing. On the contrary, the rebels in Benghazi are known for their racism, and blacks were victims of terrible systematic atrocities. The paradox is that NATO wants to bring democracy to a section of Al Qaeda and Libyan Ku Klux Klan-type racists”.

Here’s another footage, with English explanations given:

After the rebels entered Tripoli, numerous reports of black men being killed appeared again. Twitter explodes with rebels’ messages about killing “African mercenaries”. In the chaos of embattled Tripoli, black people are being simply seized from the streets and taken somewhere openly.

On the photo above we can see that the dead people’s hands are tied with plastic handcuffs and their clothes are relatively clean. This means these people were captured not after a fight, but deliberately.

The Colonel was being building good relations with the south of Africa. NATO plan of destabilizing Libya might as well include having the black Africans turning away from this country forever, using contempt and xenophobia of the rebels as a driving force of the persecution. After all, lynching black people simply for being in Africa sounds ridiculous. But results are pretty much of the same racist kind, and they are not funny at all.

D-MITCH777 wrote: ( )
I was watching the news when they first went in to Tripoli and i saw a couple black people then celebrating with Arabs.

Most of the early footage from Tripoli is a fake. Just look at these photos. Any who ever had army training and/or experience of urban fighting, would lol all over them. Their clothes are too clean, they don’t carry their ammo with them, their poses are ridiculous. Are we supposed to believe that a 2-million city was taken in several hours by a group of chavsters? On 18th of August, Libyan TV came to know that a fake Tripoli takeover was filmed in Doha, to cover up the fact that NATO troops started the ground operation.

As Thierry Meissan, who was persecuted for his article, said after his release from Rixos, there was no celebration on Tripoli’s real streets. Only terror and foreign occupation.

Being a follower of “pure Quran” and not historically established Islam, Gaddafi believes in equal rights for all people (take, for example, women rights in Libya, which was always famous for incredible freedom offered to its women – something that a lot of Muslim countries often scolded it for), and he strived to secure them for black Libyans too. Some tribes, however, were displeased by this situation. These were the very same tribes NATO supported as rebels.

there’s a mistake in the article. the actual phrase is:
“On the photo above we can see that the lying people’s hands are tied with plastic handcuffs and their clothes are relatively clean. This means these people were captured not after a fight, but deliberately.”

You obviously are not Libyan and have never spent time in Libya. If you have then you are lying and jumpoing on the bandwagon!
Nato supported the whole country, not jsut those tribes opposed to Gaddafis “kindness” towards blacks and women. Gaddafi is not a beleiver or follower of any sort of Quran or Islam.
Please get your facts right before you speak about such things that you do not know.

[…] The majority of Libyans are Arabs and Berbers, but there’s a minority of black Africans in Libya who the majority of Libyans do not identify with. There does not seem to be any conflict yet between the Arabs and Berbers, but the black Africans have suffered at the hands of the rebels. Racism is not new in Libya: Gaddafi exploited black Africans as migrant workers, and many Libyans held prejudices toward the black Africans, but while the racism is not new, the actions of the rebels is still appalling. […]

The quality of life and security for the citizens has been largely restored and we are a large part of why that has happened.

Are you Lieutenant Colonel Dominic Caraccilo of the 82nd Airborne – the battalion commander who took “responsibility for a public-relations campaign that sent hundreds of identical letters to hometown newspapers promoting his soldiers’ rebuilding efforts in Iraq?”

Thank you for your post but I think you need to study this blog a little closer to get a true picture of what is actually happening on the ground in Libya and to the “security of the citizens.”

This is absolute rubbish
i have just come back from Libya.
My village Zuara(Zwara) only became free at the time that Tripoli the capital city became free.
I went there before that and there is no racism towards Black libyans based on their colour.
Also after Eid i was in tripoli for 5 days and life there has become normal and the African migrant workers have returned to their work (those who stayed in Libya). there is no mis treatment of them or racism or prejudice towards them.
The people who are accusing this, are anarchists who always want to beleive that every war or crisis going on, is a form of racism towards “blacks”, which is rubbish.
People must base their opinion on fact and not on assumptions.

[…] refugee camps like Tawergha where black african Libyans have been systematically lynched and the women and children abused. Visitors should be careful to not become inadvertent victims of events like many unfortunate young […]

Please go to and sign the online petition titled, President of the United States: “Make Libyan Rebels stop genocide against Black people/Black Africans in Libya”, and then to the White House Petitions to sign the other petition asking the Obama administration to cut funding and assistance to Libya until they cease these human rights abuses.

[…] Finally, it should be noted that there are many similarities between the Syrian rebels and the Libyan rebels. The Libyan rebels launched a media propaganda war against Gaddafi, must like how Al Jazeera has lied about the ongoing events in Syria. In addition to this, much like the Syrian rebels, the Libyan rebels also committed war crimes. […]

War dishonest lying sides used Gaddafi system used by some tribes of Tuareg and Toubou outside of Libya in its war against the rebels and the Hola blacks have family relationships with some Libyan tribes though they were residents of the desert tribes and the same
Has appeared Hola blacks in most of the battlefields in Libya, as they judge the ring in Albobat inside and outside the cities, hence the hatred may Bdouat between the people and these blacks, and also to the people of the south Allibay skinned black, mostly supporters and people Torghae descents African leader Gaddafi when it landed capital, disease detention without discrimination and has signed the mistakes in the arrest of immigrants and foreign workers with dark skins and believe that they supported Gaddafi in his war was thought of force is judged on the ground after the collapse of the state and its fall and the dismantling of the security services and army by the actor and our role as human rights organizations is to defend human rights without discrimination and demand prosecute all perpetrators of crimes of the parties

[…] As a result, innocent blacks were lynched, beaten, imprisoned, murdered(32) and decapitated in hate-fuelled attacks all over the country.(33) A principle cause of this venomous hatred towards Libya’s black African population (who before […]

[…] As a result, innocent blacks were lynched, beaten, imprisoned, murdered(32) and decapitated in hate-fuelled attacks all over the country.(33) A principle cause of this venomous hatred towards Libya’s black African population (who before […]

[…] anti-Saddam militias in an illegal war whose authorisation she supported in a floor speech; the ethnic cleansing of blacks in Libya by the heavily-Islamist anti-Gaddhafi rebels in the wake of a war backedby Ms Clinton; and […]

[…] Another biased attribute of the Guardians reporting on Libya was the downplaying or ignoring of atrocities committed by the NATO backed rebels. As stated on a previous blog post – the UK Government and media outlets downplayed and largely ignored the brutalization of black communities during the Libyan conflict and in its aftermath reports of ethnic cleansing were conveniently swept under the carpet.  […]

[…] We all know what happened to the“revolution”; were we all supposed to cheer along with Cameron and Sarkozy when the latter two went to Tripoli to celebrate the victory of their “revolution”and must we forget about all the black immigrant workers the “rebels” lynched as soon as their “revolution” began in Benghazi – see “Libyan rebel ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people” […]

[…] We all know what happened to the“revolution”; were we all supposed to cheer along with Cameron and Sarkozy when the latter two went to Tripoli to celebrate the victory of their “revolution”and must we forget about all the black immigrant workers the “rebels” lynched as soon as their “revolution” began in Benghazi – see “Libyan rebel ethnic cleansing and lynching of black people” […]

[…] This lead to the death of thousands and the mass lynching of African migrants who the media labeled mercenaries of Colonel Gaddafi. The lies continued reports came thick and fast that Libyan forces were actually taking Viagra to rape woman and that the Colonels forces were slaughtering people on the streets.. ( […]

[…] Since the beginning of Washington’s regime change operation in Libya in 2011, the whole affair has been one long unbridled disaster. This week the violence has escalated – with car bombs in Tobruk, Coptic Christians being killed, and the government launching airstrikes against its own cities. The broken nation of Libya has officially descended into a full-blown Civil War. […]

I knew the ‘regime-change’ game under NATO, Obama and esp H Clinton was a work of darkness, but I was clueless as to the deeply racist streak in it all. I’m grateful for a secondary link from an outside article that lead me to this post – 6 years old already, but still burningly current. What lies from the West! What inhumanity in the name of liberation! O may the Maker of All transform our hearts: that’s the one regime that needs constant ‘changing’.

[…] The race dynamics in the Arab world can be traced to the Arab Slave Trade of the 19th century, which saw tens of thousands of East African women captured as sex slaves. The legacy of the trade is still glaring, especially in Libya: 200 black Africans were killed in race riots in October 2000. Following the Libyan uprising in 2011, thousands of black people, including Nigerians and dark-skinned Libyans, were massacred. […]

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