Saturday 24 February 2018

Rampant racism threatens the stability of new Libya

Patrick Cockburn in Tripoli

YASSIN BAHR, a tall thin Senegalese in torn blue jeans, volubly denies that he was ever a mercenary or fought for Muammar Gaddafi.

Speaking in quick nervous sentences, Mr Bahr tries to convince a suspicious local militia leader in charge of the police station in the Faraj district of Tripoli that he is a building worker who has been arrested because of his colour. "I liked Gaddafi, but I never fought for him," Mr Bahr says.

But the Libyan rebels are hostile to black Africans in general. One of the militiamen who have been in control of the police station since the police fled, said: "Libyan people don't like people with dark skins, though some of them may be innocent."

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