Background to rebel racism

Gaddafi and Pan-Africanism

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in Tripoli on 15 April 2009

Col Gaddafi envisages a single African military, currency and passport

Libyan leader and current African Union chairman Muammar Gaddafi has spelled out his plans to create a United States of Africa.

At an AU Executive Council session in Tripoli, he called on the continent to speed up the integration process.

His vision of a pan-African government was at the heart of disputes at February’s AU summit in Ethiopia.

He said an African Union Authority would replace all other organs and be run by three co-ordinators.

The BBC’s Rana Jawad in Tripoli says the establishment of an AU Authority is meant to be the starting point for the envisioned United States of Africa.

More than 60 AU ministers and delegates gathered for a one-day meeting in the Libyan capital to hear Col Gaddafi outline in detail for the first time how his plan would work.

He proposed:

• The current AU Executive Council appoint a head secretary to be in charge of the continent’s foreign affairs

• The AU’s economic development programme, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), would oversee foreign trade

• The head of the AU’s Peace and Security Council would run the continent’s defence matters

Col Gaddafi envisages a single African military force, a single currency and a single passport for Africans to move freely around the continent.

Some officials, particularly from countries more favourable towards Libya have expressed a positive outlook towards the plan, while admitting it will take some time to implement.

But many will privately express deep concern over issues like state sovereignty, says our correspondent.

And others feel the divisions across the continent over the matter are simply too deep to overcome at this time, she adds.


Gaddafi’s Libya threatened Africa’s subordinate role


By Dan Glazebrook

‘This uprising has been characterised by racist violence. On the second day of the uprising 50 African migrants were slaughtered by the rebels. This is all justified in the media by nonsense about ‘African mercenaries’ which Amnesty International have already comprehensively demolished. There were no ‘African mercenaries’. The rebels are waging warfare against the black Libyan population and African migrant workers. NATO want a government that disunites Africa – that will draw North Africa away from its southern neighbours. Therefore it is very important for NATO that the government in Libya is a racist one which will discontinue with the project to unite Africa. It is no mistake that this uprising has been characterised by racist violence – it’s part of the plan.’


Pogrom in Libya September, 2000

Bloody clashes between Libyan youths and many sub-saharan Africans in Libyan cities in September may cast a shadow on the dream of Libyan Leader, Colonel Muamar Ghaddafi to act as a catalyst for the unification of Africa.

The clashes, which are believed to have cost up to a hundred Ghanaian and Nigerian lives, were sparked off when an armed gang from West Africa, believed to be Nigerian, raped and then killed a Libyan woman. Black Africans living in Benghazi, where the incident occurred, were set up and severely beaten. The violence then spread to other Libyan towns.

Ghana’s President Jerry Rawlings who has been one of Ghaddafi’s staunchest friends and supports in Africa, personally lead an evacuation task force from Accra to Tripoli to repatriate the first batch of 238 Ghanaians caught up in the riots. As many as 5,000 Ghanaians had to take refuge at a camp following the riots.

Libya’s oil boom has become a pull factor attracting thousands of African workers. Since the launch of the 1979 Revolution by FIt Lt Rawlings, relations between Accra and Tripoli have been cordial and Ghanaian professionals and artisans have flocked to the country.

In a gesture of goodwill towards sub-Saharan Africa, the Libyan leader recently welcomed workers to his sparsely populated country. However, the sudden influx of thousands of Nigerians, many of whom set up drugs and crime gangs, was deeply resented by the Libyans.

A large proportion of the workforce in Libya is made up of immigrants from other African states, in particular Sudan, Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Ghana and Nigeria.

Immigrant workers in Libya have generally been treated well but the local preference has always been for Muslims from west and north Africa. The latest batch of immigrants contained large proportions of nonMuslims who were accused of making and selling alcoholic beverages among other illegal activities. .

Most immigrants however, are law abiding and have contributed to the development of Libya by providing both skilled and unskilled labour. According to reports, although the initial targets of the violence were Nigerians, distinctions were soon forgotten and all foreigners from Africa were set upon. These included some Sudanese who have lived harmoniously in the country for decades.

The Libyan leader, who is keen to be seen as a driving force in the unification of Africa, was said to be appaled by the scale of the violence, He promised a full investigation in the affair and blamed it on dissidents.



Migrant Workers From Ghana who Fled Libya Cite Racism


TECHIMAN, Ghana — Thousands of Ghanaian migrant workers who recently returned from Libya after attacks there against black Africans say they are relieved to be home, though their hopes of finding their fortunes have been destroyed.

At least 5,200 Ghanaians have returned since October, after violence against blacks that, by unofficial accounts, left more than 135 dead. In addition, thousands of laborers from Chad, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and other nations have fled Libya, taking a strong resentment toward Libyans with them.

“It was not easy, because being a black man [in Libya], you can’t live there simply,” said George Auther, 26, who returned here in October after spending two years in the predominantly Arab nation as a builder’s apprentice. “You can’t move around freely. The problem is, the Libyans don’t like blacks.”

Although the violence appears to have eased, the attacks threaten to undermine efforts by Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi to drum up support for a union of African nations.

Kadafi blamed the violence on “hidden hostile hands” bent on sabotaging his plans for greater African unity. Many of the repatriated laborers, who expressed support for the Libyan leader’s pan-African ideals, blamed the hostility on racism.

“President Kadafi has a good idea, but his people don’t like blacks, and they don’t think they are Africans because of their skin color,” said Kwame Amponsah, 22. He spent three months in Libya before fleeing in October, returning to Ghana’s poor southwestern agricultural Brong-Ahafo region. As many as 80% of the nation’s returnees hail from this area, according to authorities.


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