by Lizzie Phelan
The same militia that erased the Black town of Tawergha and has terrorized dark-skinned Libyans and African immigrants, is threatening to attack the city of Bani Walid, which has been under artillery siege and encirclement for over a week. The NATO-backed militias claim to be targeting “pro-Gaddafi” elements.
Libyan City Under Siege by Militias
by Lizzie Phelan
This article previously appeared on Ms. Phelan’s website.
“The militias from Misrata have been set loose across the country.”
Reuters has reported that the Libyan city of Bani Walid, which despite reports that it was the last to surrender to the NATO-led counterinsurgency against the former Libyan government, in fact never did surrender, is being shelled by pro-"government" forces (I put government in parenthesis because there is in fact no authority that can be called a government in Libya, but a vast array of militias that control different areas). The news agency reports that the shelling has so far caused three fatalities including the death of a little girl.
I have also been getting reports over the last few days from Libya that Bani Walid, which has been under siege for about a week, is being threatened with an attack by rebels from Misrata, who have been one of the most notorious elements of the NATO-led insurgency that destroyed Libya's former government and destabilized the entire country, with ripple effects across the region.
It was the rebels in Misrata that received some of the most sympathy from the western media and human rights organisations during the 9 month NATO bombing campaign. That sympathy provided cover for them to be heavily armed, arms which they subsequently used to racially cleanse the neighboring town of Tawergha, which was mainly populated by black Libyans, but now no longer exists.
It was only after the event of Tawergha being destroyed, that the western corporate media and human rights organizations began to give some tentative coverage to the plight of its people. But not only was timely or adequate coverage not given, such organizations served to inflame the inherent racism of the Misrata militias by instead giving coverage to the entirely baseless claim that the former Libyan government was hiring mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa.
“The people of Bani Walid are calling on the UN to protect them.”
And now the militias from Misrata have been set loose across the country since the bombing into dissolution of the former Libyan government, the persecution of Tawerghans, black-skinned Libyans and migrant workers from other African countries, that was previously confined to rebel held areas has left all black people across the country at high risk.
Should any more evidence of the brutality of the Misrata militias be needed, it was of course members of those groups who were responsible for the sickening treatment and murder of late leader Muammar Gaddafi after he was injured in what most credible accounts report was a NATO attack on his convoy.
Now, again with the arms that have come into their hands and the lack of any force that is able to stop them, because of NATO's destabilization of Libya, they are threatening to attack Bani Walid with the same kind of tactics they have become notorious for.
The Reuters report says that the city is under siege because it still harbors pockets of pro-Gaddafi elements. But as usual this is a distortion and ignores firstly the fact that the tribe of Bani Walid, the Werfalla, which is also Libya's largest tribe, has always been united ideologically as they were and remain throughout this ongoing crisis. Their position has unwaveringly been to resist the NATO-rebel insurgency, and had it not been for the unity of the Werfalla, then the militias would never be able to enter Bani Walid without heavy bombardment.
The people of Bani Walid are calling on the UN to protect them and intervene to end the siege, prevent further persecution and for international media to raise awareness about their plight.
Here is an RT report describing in more detail the suffering the people of that city are currently enduring: No Food, No Drugs: Libyan Troops Siege Ex-Gaddafi Stronghold.
Lizzie Phelan is a freelance journalist who has reported for Press TV and Russia Today from Tripoli, Libya, including during NATO's onslaught on the capital that lead to the collapse of the former government headed by Muammar Gaddafi. With her colleague Mostafa Afzalzadeh, she produced and edited a documentary on the media war on Syria. Currently Ms Phelan is Press TV's correspondent in Nicaragua. Lizzie Phelan’s YouTube Channels: www.youtube.com/theliberatedzone AND www.youtube.com/theliberatedzonetv.