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LIBYA: African mercenaries' fate uncertain [video]

August 24, 2011 |  5:18 pm


Concern is increasing that Libyan rebels may take justice into their own hands, performing revenge killings, particularly of African mercenaries hired by Moammar Kadafi's forces to suppress the uprising.

In an apparent effort to safeguard against such claims later on, some rebels have posted videos online showing how they treat captured mercenaries.

In one video posted Wednesday, a rebel walks down a line of mercenaries captured in Tripoli, asking them questions in Arabic, including where they're from. Many say Sudan and Chad.

All are thin, clothing hanging off their frames. They appear to be in good health, although some have unexplained marks on their faces. Their clothes appear clean. One wears a baseball cap, another an Adidas jacket.

Some appear to be boys. They seem more resigned than afraid.

At one point, the questioner takes what appears to be a cheap plastic necklace from one boy's neck, and moves on.

The video could not be independently verified.

"These mercenaries receive proper medical treatment, food, and are treated in full compliance with international standards," the video caption says.

"They are held in custody for further investigation and gathering of evidence against Moammar Kadafi, who was formally indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity," the caption says, as well as "gathering evidence against the president of Sudan, Omar Al Bashir, and Idriss Deby, president of Chad, and his son."

All of those officials, the caption says, are "suspected of being involved in assisting and actively participating in the recruiting and sending foreign black mercenaries on Libyan soil for killing the Libyan people, and perpetrating looting, murders of civilians, indiscriminate shelling of civilians and civilian-populated areas like the city of Misurata and the various villages in the Nefusa (western) Mountains  during several months."

The rebels linked to several other online videos they consider evidence of "mercenaries hired by the Libyan regime in order to kill the civilian population in Libya, and subsequently captured or neutralized."

The caption also mentions and links to videos allegedly illustrating "the broader issue of some Tuaregs from Niger and Mali" -- an allusion to Tuareg Berber nomads Kadafi forces hired and trained. The caption says such mercenaries committed "crimes" in Libya's western mountains.

One of the videos shows heavily armed Libyan rebel fighters claiming Kadafi insignia from the body of what appeared to be a Tuareg mercenary.

Another video shows mercenaries who had allegedly been captured by rebels.

The videos could not be independently verified.


African mercenaries imported by Kadafi to quash protests, Al Arabiya reports

Libyan rebels accused of targeting blacks

Libyan rebels appear to take leaf from Kadafi's playbook

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

 Video: African mercenaries captured in Tripoli are questioned by a Libyan rebel in video posted online. The video could not be independently verified. Credit: YouTube