Africans say Libyan troops try to make them fight

Mon Mar 7, 2011 3:17pm GMT
 

By Douglas Hamilton

RAS JDIR CAMP, Tunisia (Reuters) - Libyan troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi are rounding up black African migrants to force them to fight anti-Gaddafi rebels, young African men who fled to Tunisia said on Monday.

In separate accounts at this refugee camp, they said they were raided in their homes by soldiers, beaten and robbed of their savings and identity papers, then detained and finally offered money to take up arms for the state.

Those who refused were told they would never leave, said Fergo Fevomoye, a 23-year-old who crossed the border on Sunday.

"They will give you a gun and train you like a soldier. Then you fight the war of Libya. As I am talking to you now there is many blacks in training who say they are going to fight this war. They have prized (paid) them with lots of money.

He said Africans who are first intimidated and stripped of everything were then offered 250 Libyan dinars to train as fighters.

"They said I should take money and fight. They would give me 250 dinars. I said No. When I told them No they told me I would not go anywhere," he told Reuters.

The Libyan governemnt has denied using foreign nationals to fight the rebels, saying instead that dark-skinned Libyans serving in its security forces had been mistaken for African mercenaries.

INSTANT "MERCENARIES"   Continued...

 
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