N’DJAMENA (Reuters) - Chad on Sunday called on coalition forces to protect its citizens in rebel-held areas in Libya, saying dozens had been accused and executed for allegedly being mercenaries in the pay Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
When protests against Gaddafi’s government led to violence in February, rebels said Gaddafi had brought in African mercenaries from countries such as Chad and Zimbabwe to help in the crackdown after Libyan troops proved unreliable.
“Since the beginning of the Libyan crisis, Chadians in Libya, especially those in areas controlled by the transitional national council, have been singled out,” a statement from Chad’s government spokesman Kalzeubet Pahimi Deubet said.
“Dozens of Chadians have known this sad fate,” he said.
The statement said several Chadian nationals had been arrested, some were “paraded on television as mercenaries and sometimes executed” despite denials that Libya had recruited any mercenaries from its southern neighbour.
The government of Chad had said about 300,000 of its citizens resided in Libya before the crisis.
“The Chadian government is calling on international coalition forces involved in Libya and international human rights organisation to stop these abuses against Chadians and other migrant Africa workers,” the statement said.