From The Grio — It is, in many ways, a terrible time to be a black man in Libya. Too often during these uncertain and unstable days, African skin appears to be the mark of a wanted person — guilty or not.

According to some, so-called ‘Africans’ in Libya have long been falsely blamed for crime, violence and disorder. But Libya’s shift in power has apparently given rise to a far more worrying trend, sometimes violent, which has lead to black people being wrongly accused of supporting the repressive Gadhafi regime. And the consequences of these inaccurate accusations can be brutal, even deadly.

For many years, the former Libyan leader employed the services of soldiers from African countries like Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana to bolster his military — so-called “mercenaries”. A large but unknown number of them fought for him during the bloody revolution. Numerous reports suggested that groups of French-speaking Africans were hired in by the regime to be unleashed on its own people during the most desperate days of the conflict.


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Now, with Gadhafi defeated and his hold over Libya almost disintegrated, there are claims that many rebels and armed civilians, filled with an overwhelming sense of victory and vengeance, have been rounding up any black men they can find and subjecting them to aggressive questioning — with some people being beaten or even killed. There have been claims of abusive behavior by both pro and anti-Gadhafi fighters.

Many of the black men who have been arrested will certainly have been soldiers who came to Libya to fight wars, and are now living the gruesome consequence of being on the losing side. However, many of those being held in Libya’s grim jails were certainly innocent migrant workers who have traveled there from other Africa countries simply to make money, perhaps in Libya’s vast oil industry.

Television pictures broadcast by Britain’s Channel 4 at the weekend showed nine Nigerians rounded up and detained by rebel fighters. They appear to be in fear of being murdered by an armed group. One of the trembling captives mutters “stay here with us”, to the television crew, fearing that the presence of a news team might be their only way of escaping execution. ”

We are innocent”, says one. But although “these are Gadhafi fighters”, according to one of the captors, there appears to be little if any evidence that the arrested men are guilty of any wrong-doing. Eventually they are released — saved, possibly, because television cameras were rolling

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  • Robbie

    So tragic. Too often in war, it is always the innocents that end up dead or arrested for no valid reason. Everyone becomes a target. In this case, it has to be the African migrants that are simply looking for better work opportunities.

  • LemonNLime

    Umm is anyone truly surprise? Gadhafi may have been involved in some shady business but you can’t tell me that the people taking over are any better than he is. And not to be whatever but the US (and let’s face it, that is what NATO is) backed groups like this before providing them with money and weapons and now they are using them against our own fellow Americans who are fighting a useless war over oil. Bet you history repeats itself it may not be today or tomorrow but it will happen.

    And anyone naive enough to think Obama cares must be living in a dream world. If you haven’t learned it doesn’t benefit the US to care about black Africans unless they are sitting on top of oil.

  • jackie

    its a bad time to be black anywhere

    • Saywhat


    • QueenofNewcastle

      I have been black in the US and now I am black in the UK- female too. My life is quite good. Better than most but not as good as some. Meh….

  • *lb*rollingstone

    Smh, that goes to show any black person who is second guessing, no ONE likes black people, wherever you are. Perpetual scapegoats wherever we are. Its funny because those Arabs stole that land from Afrikan people. Now they are killing Afrikans in land that their ancestors stole, killing some Afrikans because some how it was only Afrikans who were fighting these rebels. Libya has oil that France and other WHITE nations need. So thats why they choose some radical Libyans and decided to overthrow Gaddafi’s government. Gaddafi was not the best guy. But he was more honorable than Obama is. Because Obama is not going to help Afrikans or Afrikan Americans.