ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA: Libyan Rebels May Be Killing ‘Black Workers’: AU Head

29 Aug

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The chairman of the African Union says Libyan rebels may be indiscriminately killing black people in Libya because they have confused innocent migrant workers with mercenaries.

Chairman Jean Ping told reporters Monday that this is one of the reasons the AU is refusing to recognize the National Transitional Council as the country’s interim government.

He said “We need clarification because the NTC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries …. They are killing normal workers.”

Libya’s rebel National Transitional Council appears to have secured Libya’s capital after a week of fierce fighting with loyalists to Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

He said there was no doubt the council now controlled the capital city and called on both sides to “stop the killing.”

NEWS UPDATE:

Around 40,000 prisoners of Muammar Gaddafi‘s regime are unaccounted for since the fall of Tripoli, according to a Libyan rebel spokesman.

A Libyan man looks for his relative, who was a prisoner of Muammar Gaddafi's regime

A Libyan man looks for his relative, who was a prisoner of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime

One News: Libyan rebels say Gaddafi is still a threat
 

Colonel Ahmed Bani said it was possible that some were being held in underground bunkers in Tripoli, but that rebels have so far been unable to locate them.

However, there is also concern that many may have been killed before rebels gained control of the Libyan capital.

Sarah Leah Whitson of Human Rights Watch said the evidence gathered by them ‘strongly suggests that Gaddafi government forces went on a spate of arbitrary killing as Tripoli was falling.’

Meanwhile, Libyan rebel forces are continuing to move on Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, which rebels said they would seize by force if negotiations for its surrender failed.

Rebels are advancing on the town from the east and west with some claiming to be just 30km away.

NATO aircraft also targeted the town for a third day yesterday.

There had been suggestions that Gaddafi had retreated to Sirte when Tripoli had fallen, however his exact whereabouts are still unknown.

Gaddafi still retains support and sympathy there, which makes its capture strategically and symbolically important to the rebels as they consolidate their victory.

Lockerbie bomber

Elsewhere, CNN has reported that the Libyan convicted over the 1988 Lockerbie bombing has been found in Tripoli and appears to be ‘at death’s door.’

Abdel Baset al-Megrahi was found in what was described as a palatial house in an upmarket part of Tripoli, guarded by at least six security cameras and attended to by concerned relatives.

‘He appears to be a shell of the man that he was, far sicker than he appeared before … at death’s door,’ Mr Robertson said of Megrahi.

The convicted bomber returned to Libya two years ago after being released from a Scottish prison for health reasons.

The alleged ex-Libyan intelligence agent apparently lay unconscious in a bed during Nic Robertson‘s visit.

Megrahi’s relatives said he was being kept alive with oxygen and a fluid drip, had stopped eating and occasionally lapsed into a coma, CNN reported.

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