Dozens feared killed in reprisal attacks on African migrants in Libya

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    Anti-Gaddafi protesters

    By John Abayomi,

    with agency reports

    In what appears to be a new twist in the ongoing political crisis in Libya, protesters are said to be targeting sub-saharan Africans as dozens are now feared killed, while hundreds are in hiding in the oil rich country.

    According to Al Jazeera, African migrant workers are targeted because they are suspected of being mercenaries hired by Muammar Gaddafi.

    The Arab media organisation reported that angry mobs of anti-government protesters hunt down “black African mercenaries,” quoting witnesses accounts.

    90 Kenyans, 64 citizens from South Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Burundi landed in Nairobi on Monday.

    “We were being attacked by local people who said that we were mercenaries killing people. Let me say that they did not want to see black people,” Julius Kiluu, a 60-year-old building supervisor, told Reuters.

    “Our camp was burnt down, and we were assisted by the Kenyan embassy and our company to get to the airport,” he said.

    Rights organisations say that thousands of workers are stranded in camps and private homes, protected by their colleagues as their governments fail to evacuate them from the chaos.

    About 1.5m Sub-Saharan African migrants work in Libya as low-paid labourers in the oil industry, construction, agriculture and service sectors.

    It would be recalled that the Federal Governement evacuated 499 Nigerians from the troubled nation, Sunday out of the estimated 2000 stranded in Tripoli.

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    Dozens feared killed in reprisal attacks on African migrants in Libya