Libya is free if you're not a “black African”

5 Min Read

September 9, 2011 By Jimmy Kainja

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The fall of every dictator is a good news, I am sure most people would agree. This is precisely because dictators are brutal, kill their own people, loot national wealth and create culture of cronyism, which hinders growth of any nation. Against all these characteristics are people fighting fighting for freedom, fairness and dignity of all humanity.

I was very pleased when Tunisia and Egypt got rid of their brutal men earlier this year. What will become of these countries is still not clear but I am inclined to believe that Tunisia and Egypt will be much better societies than they were under Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, respectively. With the help of NATO, Libyans have toppled their own dictator, Muammar Gaddafi – his whereabouts still unknown at the time of writing but still good news that he is no longer at the helm.

The bad news in the Libyan context is that African migrant workers, the so-called “black Africans” have fallen victim of the very same forces fighting to liberate Libya from vicious Gaddafi who ruled the country  as a personal property for over 41 years. At the moment the National Transitional Council (NTC), a governing transitional body recognised by international community, mainly the west, is acting with total impunity. It can not do no wrong, hence its backers in the west have no time to speak-up for the abuse and lynchings of African migrant workers.

Human Rights Watch has failed to find any evidence against claims that these African migrant workers are “mercenaries” hire by Gaddafi to fight against the labels. Human Rights Watch said:

The NTC should stop arresting African migrants and black Libyans unless it has concrete evidence of criminal activity. It should also take immediate steps to protect them from violence and abuse.

These rumours were advanced early on in the conflict by western media deprived of any credible information and was happy to copy and paste NTC’s propaganda without seeking any credible evidence. Libya country had a lot of immigrants from various African countries and Libyans, including the labels are aware of this fact. Vicious as he can be, the availability of African migrant wokers in Libya shows how welcoming Gaddafi was to fellow Africans. His fall has laid bare the kind of racism that “non-black” Libya could not show on his watch. For right or wrong reason, Gaddafi was perhaps the only leader from the region, after Egypt’s former president Abdal Nasser, to reach-out to the countries bellow the Sahara.

I would not want Gaddafi as my leader, and I would not wish him on anyone. Yet the new administrators in Libya must show they are any better. Rules of a civilised and enlightened world, which they aspire to be part of are that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Even Gaddafi, his sons and his inner-cirle would have to be tried if captured. If NTC are any better why are they not playing by these rules? The labels are taking orders from the western backed NTC and they are coordinating with NATO, why hasn’t NATO and western countries intervened in the killings of Africans migrant workers? Why are the western governments quiet on this? Why are the western media only happy to report this after human rights orgnisations reports but are reluctant to quiz NATO and the west?

If Libya is to become a civilised democracy, which I made to believe is the very reason for Gaddafi’s ouster, rights of people, regardless of their complexion must be guaranteed and the senseless slaughter of innocent African migrant worker must stop, as Human rights Watch has rightly said. These are people, not flies or “rats”, someone call them father, son, brother, etc… They are worth of their dignity; they crave the same freedom that “non-black” Libyans are fighting for; the need the same protection that the UN’s “no-fly-zone” resolution was meant to achieve.

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