Africans at risk in Libya: NATO must, without fail, and immediately, save the black Africans threatened with death in Libya.

Author:Duodu, Cameron
Position:Under the Neem Tree - Column
 
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No one in his right mind would be surprised that the new rulers of Libya's streets want to mete out justice to remnants of Col. Muammar Al Gathafi's army. The resistance put up in Tripoli by pro-Gathafi snipers was intense enough to frighten the anti-Gathafi forces into imposing summary justice on suspected would-be murderers. A group of 500 Ghanaians who managed to return home back in March 2011, told harrowing stories, even then, of how difficult life had become for them - when Tripoli had not seen the sort of fighting that Benghazi and other towns had experienced. They said they had left about 10,000 of their compatriots behind, of whose fate they weren't aware.

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The stories of brutality against blacks that have appeared on Channel 4 News in London and on CNN, as well as in The Independent newspaper in London, make it imperative for the NATO leaders to impress upon the National Transitional Council (NTC) urgently that the suppression of racist hysteria against blacks must count as one of their topmost priorities.

Of course, it is understandable that the NTC should be preoccupied with consolidating its administration. But people killed by racists, in the meantime, cannot be returned to life. So, if the NTC and its allies do not do something extraordinary to save innocent black workers, they will do permanent damage to Libyan diplomacy in Africa,

I call on the NATO leaders to remember that South Africa voted with them to adopt UN Security Council Resolution 1973, which formed the basis of the NATO intervention in Libya. But already, South Africa and many other African Union (AU) members have been dragging their feet about recognising the NTC.

The Nigerian and Ghanaian governments on the other hand, which have recognised the NTC, have come under intense criticism for jumping the gun. This is because many people think that if they had waited, they could have used the diplomatic weapon of recognition to protect more effectively, the hapless blacks seen on television, who expressed the fear that they would be liquidated by armed Libyan racists.

The irony of the situation is that under Al Gathafi's government, black Africans in Libya did not exactly enjoy the life of "luxury" and roses that some Libyans have projected unto them, either willingly or through sheer misinformation. Many blacks only went to Libya to use the country as a staging post to try and get into Europe. But this often turned out to be an illusion...

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