Racism rears its ugly face in Libya uprising live on TV

¿Are these men mercenaries?

By Tedla Asfaw

The ugly face of racism once again show its face on world stage in the week long uprising to topple Muammar Gadaffi. Reports are coming suggesting foreign "mercenaries" fighting for Muammar Gadaffi, most of them black Africans. We watched on Al Jazeera a black man beaten up and dragged to his death. On this confusion many countries, Europeans, Americans and Asians are taking their own citizens out of Libya by air, sea and land. Where is the African Union ?

Most workers are seen crossing Libya to Egypt or Tunisia but we never saw anyone going to South, Niger, Chad or Sudan for that matter to Algeria. Most of the media coverage is on what is going on in the East which is now free from Gadaffi's control. Why not we see black Africans running for their safety ? As we heard it from DW Amharic today most of them are hiding in their houses because it is dangerous for blacks to come out because they are considered by most Libyans as mercenaries.

This indeed is very tragic. Most of Ethiopians are refugees in Libya. Ethiopian women working as maids currently are under the care of the households they live seems they are safe for now. That as well is not guaranteed. Due to public pressure they might be pushed to face street justice including rape.

The passport displayed on Al Jazeera includes many passports carried by Ethiopians. From DW interview we heard most of them were dragged from their apartments beaten up and showed to the world as mercenaries. We also heard many Ethiopians killed by angry mob in Benghazi.

Muammar Gadafi haters are taking revenge on black Africans for money Gadafi threw for many African dictators. The mob attacked and killed many Africans including Ethiopians for being only black. This is not acceptable and we have to alert Human Right, and Amnesty International to investigate all who are paraded as "mercenaries" on Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera should also tone down unconfirmed report and endanger black Africans at this dangerous moment. Ethiopians have no representative government who cares for our refugees. If in fact Ethiopia sends mercenaries Meles Zenawi will never admit it because it will accelerate his own downfall.

However, Ethiopians in Diaspora have responsibility to represent fellow Ethiopians at this deadly moment and rally behind them, they are crying for help. We know no one is in charge of Libya right now.It is street rule until all settled down I am afraid this uprising will take the lives of many black Africans including many Ethiopians. If there are "mercenaries" it seems to me now they are only black Africans, that is absurd. Gadaffi's money can buy a lot of mercenaries, black,white, brown and yellow. Who is now flying Gadaffis plane and helicopters, are they also black Africans ?

Muammar Gadaffi is ready to take Libya down with him, unfortunately, many black Africans who are caught in this mess will go down with him. Their death is only because for being black in a wrong country. The tragedy is most of them left their country for safety and faced detention and racism in Libya.Most who were in detention their situation might even be worst. We have obligation to speak on their behalf by sharing any information we got about them.

The lynching and killing that is going on against black Africans in Libya will sure further divide the Arabs from the rest of Africa. The Arab League should speak against racist killing and accusations.They should sanction and condemn not only Gadaffi but also all who are killing black Africans. President Obama who urged African Union to play its role to stop the killing in Libya should be informed also that black Africans are a target of racist killing in Libya by Libyans mob.

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Antumi Toasijé

Antumi Toasijé
Doctor en Historia, Cultura y Pensamiento