NATO’s ‘responsibility to protect’ doesn’t extend to black migrants

September 9, 2011 — 5 Comments

A number of reports now, from a variety of organisations, show that black people are being rounded up, disappearing or being interned in atrocious conditions in Tripoli.

Hundreds of African workers are stuck in various locations including about 1,000 at the military port of Sidi Bilal six miles west of Tripoli, fearing for their lives, with little water and limited provisions. This situation has been going on for weeks, with the ICRC finally delivering some water on 5 September.

Macclatchy’ David Enders reports:

The rebels who ring the camp suddenly open fire. Then they race into the  camp, shouting “gabbour, gabbour” — Arabic for whore — and haul away young  women, residents say.

“You should be here in the evening, when they come in firing their guns and  taking people,” one woman from Nigeria said Wednesday as she recounted the  nightly raids on the camp. “They don’t use condoms, they use whatever they can  find,” she said, pointing to a discarded plastic bag in a pile of trash.          

As she spoke, other women standing nearby nodded in agreement.

One of the women describes the feelings of the inhabitants of the camp:

Stacey Alexandra, 26, who said she had spent the last three years in Libya  cleaning private homes and hotels and sending money back to family in Cameroon.  “Now everyone here wants to leave. This country is too racist.”

David Enders reports further:

There is no way to know how many women have been raped here, where hundreds  of Africans have settled in and around the boats of a marina. No one keeps  statistics in the camp, and foreign aid workers say they are prohibited from  discussing the allegations on the record. [Our emphasis] International Red Cross  representatives say only that they have spoken to rebel leaders about “security  concerns.”

The ICRC (who managed to get the reporters out of the Rixos) says “it is searching for a way to ensure the long-term security of the people in Sidi Bilal, for example by transferring them to a safer location.”

Charles De Gaulle French aircraft carrier - left refugees to die

Where are the European countries and NATO when black African civilians need help? Well, we got the answer to that earlier in this conflict when, as the Guardian reported, 72 African refugees were left to die in the Mediterranean by various military units including the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle:

A boat carrying 72 passengers, including several women, young children and political refugees, ran into trouble in late March after leaving Tripoli for the Italian island of Lampedusa. Despite alarms being raised with the Italian coastguard and the boat making contact with a military helicopter and a warship, no rescue effort was attempted.

All but 11 of those on board died from thirst and hunger after their vessel was left to drift in open waters for 16 days. “Every morning we would wake up and find more bodies, which we would leave for 24 hours and then throw overboard,” said Abu Kurke, one of only nine survivors. “By the final days, we didn’t know ourselves … everyone was either praying, or dying.”

Human Rights Investigations calls for European countries to take action to ensure the safe and speedy evacuation of all migrants in Libya who wish to leave.

Update 12 September – The Washington Post reports quotes Niklas Bergstrans, the communications officer for Doctors Without Borders in Tripoli who says of the African guest workers at Jansour that

“They need to be moved somewhere where they are safe,” . “It’s disappointing. We haven’t seen any concrete actions from the Transitional National Council and other international organizations.”

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5 responses to NATO’s ‘responsibility to protect’ doesn’t extend to black migrants

  1. 

    It’s time the civilised world wake up and open their eyes to these atrocities and call for the arrest of these nato leaders namely Obama Cameron and Sarkozy and have them sent to the international criminal court to stand trial for their role in the massacre of innocent men,women,and children.These world leaders are criminals.Nobody invited them to libya they went in on their own accord with one thing in mind,Sweet Crude,that’s all.This resembles recolonization in africa but there’s one problem the people of libya are going to wage an unrelenting war against these imperialists and they should prepare for the resistence that’s going to be coming their way in the near future.

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