‘As all of us, and as the international community continues to give understandable solidarity to the self-proclaimed revolutionaries of Libya, it is also important that we give equal weight the condemnation of reported atrocities now surfacing against dark-skinned people (Black Africans) by the revolutionaries, or by those acting in the name of the revolution,’ writes Wazir Mohamed from Ledestein, Guyana, South America.
As all of us, and as the international community continues to give understandable solidarity to the self-proclaimed revolutionaries of Libya, it is also important that we give equal weight the condemnation of reported atrocities now surfacing against dark-skinned people (Black Africans) by the revolutionaries, or by those acting in the name of the revolution. These practices should end. There is no place in revolution for ethnic cleansing. Revolution is about change. It is about constructing deeper humanity and bonds among people.
I write this letter to bring attention to the under-reported but troubling issue of possible ethnic cleansing in Libya. As the Libyan Revolution unfolds, fears of possible ethnic cleansing is gripping the more than 1.5 Million migrant workers from Sub-Saharan (Black Africa) now working as low waged workers in the oil industry, as domestic servants, and as general laborers in Libyan society.
Fears of the possibility of ethnic cleansing is motivated by reports from migrant organizations and some news organizations that dozens of African looking workers have been killed thus far, while countless hundreds are in hiding because of the hunt now on for “Black African” mercenaries. Since the protest began, Libyan dictator Qaddafi has relied on “Black African Mercenaries,” recruited from among the armies of his friends on the African continent, especially from Chad and Niger. The presence of these mercenaries has complicated the problem for other peaceful “Black African Migrants,” who are in the country as workers or as refugees. Any black skinned person is a suspected mercenary. Black African immigrants are now, by default linked to the state-orchestrated violence and mass killings carried out by the regime. This is a most dangerous development.
On-going reports of atrocities against innocent people based on their shade of blackness, is horrendous to say the least. What is more horrendous is that these atrocities are being carried out by lighter skinned Africans (Libyans) against their darker skinned brothers and sisters, their guests from other parts of Africa. While killings of the innocent cannot and should not be sanctioned; such ethnocide is further complicated when it is being done by one group of Muslims against another group of Muslims because of differences in skin color. Where are the leaders and teachers of the Muslim community here and in the world on these issues?
It is the duty of the leaders of the revolution and of the provisional government now ensconced in the East of Libya to investigate the reports of ethnic cleansing, to declare such acts as inhuman and as illegal, and to take action against the perpetrators of such horrendous acts.