Libya’s Unfolding Humanitarian Catastrophe: Cameron and Sarkozy: “Dancing on Graves” in Benghazi

Libya's Unfolding Humanitarian Catastrophe: Cameron and Sarkozy: "Dancing on Graves"  in Benghazi

It has been described as a moment Prime Minister David Cameron and President Nicolas Sarkozy “will savour for years,” “the ultimate photo opportunity” and “a moment which will shape French and British foreign policy.”

When Cameron and President Sarkozy went to Benghazi  yesterday to express their support for Libyan rebels, they went straight to the site at which the rebels publicly beheaded an alleged pro-Gaddafi “mercenary” only weeks  before.

Here is a still from the video of the visit:

Still – Sarkozy and Cameron at the lynching site

Here is the actual footage of the visit:

Here is the building Nicolas Sarkozy and David Cameron were visiting in a picture (courtesy of Al Jazeera creative commons license):

Benghazi rebel headquarters

And here is footage of the rebel lynching which took place a few weeks ago as Human Rights Investigations reported, at the same location. The video shows a man being strung up and beheaded. As you can see the location is the same.

WARNING VERY GRAPHIC VIDEO

Here is the still from 00:9

Still from above video to show location of lynching

In a short press conference earlier in the day David Cameron focused on Gadaffi’s alleged mercenaries saying

“The mercenaries should go home.”

Amnesty International crisis researcher, Donatella Rovera spent the period from 27 February to 29th May in Misurata, Benghazi, Ajdabiya and Ras Lanouf. In July she had this to say on the subject:

“We examined this issue in depth and found no evidence. The rebels spread these rumours everywhere, which had terrible consequences for African guest workers: there was a systematic hunt for migrants, some were lynched and many arrested. Since then, even the rebels have admitted there were no mercenaries, almost all have been released and have returned to their countries of origin, as the investigations into them revealed nothing.”

It seems likely that some of those rebels cheering the two leaders to the rafters would have been amongst those showing similar enthusiasm at the lynchings.

Just to give some context to these events – the Libyan conflict is far from over, hundreds, perhaps thousands of African migrant workers are currently in detention in Tripoli or fearing for their lives in refugee camps.

The town of Tawergha has been ethnically cleansed with the consent of the NTC leadership, and those who survived have fled and the south of Libya, which is to a large extent occupied by dark-skinned Libyans, is now under attack by NATO bombers and the “brigade to purge black skin, slaves,” as some of the Misuratan rebels describe themselves.

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