It should be noted that to the degree that the black African victims of rebel atrocities are even acknowledged, they are typically described as “African mercenaries.” This is in keeping with rebel authorities’ own account of the conflict and the designation frequently serves as a sort of rationalization of the mistreatment that black Africans have suffered at the rebels’ hands.
But prior to the outbreak of the rebellion, an estimated two million immigrants from sub-Saharan African countries already lived and worked in Libya. As Chadian President Idriss Déby has pointed out, it is entirely possible that some of these immigrants ended up joining the regular Libyan army. As noted in my report, one of the victims of some of the most horrific abuse documented in the videos appears in fact to have been a Libyan citizen and a member of the regular army.
The rebels, in any case, make no secret of their disdain for Muammar al-Gaddafi’s well-known pan-Africanism and they have evident trouble hiding their racism toward black Africans in general. For example, one post on the “pro-revolution” website Feb17.info helpfully offers a selection of translated slogans to be chanted at solidarity protests around the world. The slogans include “oh Gaddafi king of the afro, you will now see the [real] Libyans” and “oh Living, oh Sustainer, the afro will die today.” (See the Google cache here.)
Perhaps the senator could also provide comment on these slogans.