Friday, February 10, 2012

Racist Refugee Camp Massacre in Libya: Thank You, Obama, for “Liberating” the Libyans from the Evil Ghaddafi (with Money We Didn't Even Have)!


Huda Bel-Eid, a woman from Tawergha who was shot in the leg, sits in Tripoli Hospital in Libya, February 6, 2012 (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny)

By Nicholas Stix

bvit February 10, 2012, 04:42


This is the "better life" the west has in store for Syria and Iran. Gaddafi will be greatly missed in the years to come.

[N.S.: The following report comes from RT, a Russian organization, which is probably maintained by the Putin government, and which has an ax to grind against the U.S. With that said, that doesn’t mean this massacre story is a hoax.

I was able to get independent confirmation via an earlier story from Reuters. The Reuters story reports that five blacks were killed, and appears to be the basis for the RT story. Therefore, I posted the Reuters story, as well. As for the truth, well, this is a (civil) war zone we’re talking about. The truth might take years to emerge, if indeed it ever does.

“The first casualty of war is truth”: Supposedly uttered by Republican/Progressive California Governor and U.S. Senator Hiram Johnson in 1917, though the matter is bellicosely disputed.

I thank my reader-researcher RC for his help.]

* * *

Refugee camp massacre: Libyan militia launch racist raid
9 February, 2012, 1:38 a.m.

Heavily armed fighters have attacked a camp of about 1,500 refugees on the outskirts of Tripoli, opening fire on its inhabitants. At least six were killed in the incident raising fears that civilians have little protection from militias running amok.

Moreover, the fact that the attack took place just outside the capital itself begs the question of just how much control the interim government actually has over the country.

"Men from Misrata came to the camp [in Janzour district] at 10 o'clock [Monday]. We knew they were from Misrata because it was written all over their cars," camp resident Huda Bel-Eid said at Tripoli Medical Hospital, Al Jazeera reports.

According to various reports between six and twelve people were killed, including children, women and the elderly. The area around the camp was cut off by the attackers to prevent any help reaching the refugees.

Authorities in Janzour say the refugees armed themselves with knives and sticks to resist the attack. But locals and medics receiving the injured say the camp inhabitants were unarmed. Doctors in Central Tripoli hospital have confirmed they have begun receiving bodies from the camp.

Officials from Misrata military council denied any involvement of its troops in the assault, but locals say they have no doubt the gunmen came from Misrata. They are calling for the residents of the refugee camp to be armed in order to defend themselves from the Misrata brigade attacks.

Many observers note the camp had become home to former residents of the notorious Tawergha city and insist the assault was fuelled by racism against the city’s former black population.

Refugees from Tawergha moved to camps on the outskirts of Tripoli after the city was wiped off the map in August 2011 by rebel forces in a heavily coordinated operation with NATO.

Former residents of Tawergha say they are accused of collaborating with Gaddafi and are regularly being mistaken for sub-Saharan African mercenaries who revolutionary fighters claim fought for Gaddafi in the war. Locals are saying this was used a pretext for the ethnic cleansing of the dark-skinned population of Tawergha.

The city was mostly populated with black Libyans and black migrants, a legacy of its 19th-century origins as a transit town in the slave trade. Driving along the road between Misrata and Tawergha one can read slogans like “the brigade [Misrata brigade] for purging slaves and black skin.”

International human rights organizations have previously documented racist crimes by the Misrata brigade as it targeted the black population of Tawergha.

According to reports by independent media, rebel leaders had been threatening Tawergha long before the uprising. The threats included calling “for drastic measures like banning Tawergha natives from ever working, living or sending their children to schools in Misrata.”

But if racism was only latent before the civil war in Libya, with the post-revolutionary chaos in the country hate crimes are easily disguised.

* * *

Gunmen kill five in Libyan refugee camp: hospital staff
By Oliver Holmes and Taha Zargoun
TRIPOLI | Monday, February 6, 2012 5:19 p.m. EST

(Reuters) - Gunmen killed five Libyan refugees at their camp in a Tripoli suburb Monday, residents and hospital sources said, underscoring the volatility in the country months after Muammar Gaddafi's overthrow.

Residents of the camp, black Libyans originally from the town of Tawergha, say they are being persecuted over accusations they collaborated with Gaddafi during the country's revolution.

Many say they are also regularly mistaken for sub-Saharan African mercenaries who revolutionary fighters said fought for Gaddafi in the war.

The attackers came to the gate of the makeshift settlement in a disused naval academy in Janzour saying they wanted to arrest young men, and opened fire as people gathered to protest, said residents.

"Men from Misrata came to the camp at 10 o'clock. We knew they were from Misrata because it was written all over their cars," camp resident Huda Bel-Eid said at Tripoli Medical Hospital.

"Around 15 of them started shooting us. All the women escaped but the young men stayed. My brother was there and I went to help him because he was shot in the head and neck, then they shot me (in the leg)," she added.

Gaddafi's forces used Tawergha as a base to besiege and shell the coastal city of Misrata during last year's civil war. Its residents say they were held hostage by Gaddafi's men and did not collaborate.

Hospital staff said five people were killed and two injured in the violence.

Officials from Misrata military council denied involvement. "There is no way Misratans were involved," Fathi Bashaga, a member of Misrata military council, said.

Officials from the defense and interior ministries were not available for comment Monday.

At the morgue at Tripoli Medical Hospital, an elderly man and woman lay dead. Both were identified by Tawergha family members and had gunshots to the chest.

A resident in Janzour, who gave his name as Abdulrahman, said five people were killed. "We found two bodies of black people who had been shot on the beach. We told the police, and they have taken them now," he said.

Abdelhafid Suleiman, head of the military council of Janzour, said a group from the Tawergha camp later took to the streets to protest against the deaths. He said more violence erupted when Janzour fighters, who were on the streets to maintain security, tried to take knives and sticks off the Tawergha refugees.

Once inhabited by almost 30,000 people, Tawergha is now a ghost town.

Human Rights Watch has said Misrata rebels have looted and destroyed homes in Tawergha as well as the neighboring farming villages of Kararim and Tomina, and revenge attacks against the refugees and arbitrary arrests continue.

In addition to addressing the refugee issue, Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) must quell regular clashes between rival militias, bring down youth unemployment and secure its borders against arms traffickers, al Qaeda insurgents and migrants trying to reach Europe illegally.

(Editing by Andrew Heavens)


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