The chairman of the African Union says Libyan rebels may be indiscriminately killing black people in Libya because they have confused innocent migrant workers with mercenaries.
Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union. Jean Ping told reporters Monday that this is one of the reasons the AU is refusing to recognize Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council as the country’s interim government.
He said “We need clarification because the TNC seems to confuse black people with mercenaries …. They are killing normal workers.”
Ping also said there was no doubt now the council controlled the capital city of Tripoli and called on both sides to “stop the killing.”
Meanwhile, Libyan rebel leaders asked NATO on Monday to keep up pressure on elements of Muammar Qaddafi’s regime and to protect those struggling to restore electricity and water to the battle-scarred capital of Tripoli.
Transitional National Council head Mustafa Abdul-Jalil told senior NATO envoys meeting in the Gulf Arab nation of Qatar that Qaddafi, who has been in hiding since rebels captured Tripoli a week ago, can still cause trouble.
Despite effectively ending his rule, the rebels have yet to find Qaddafi or his family members — something that has cast a pall of lingering uncertainty over the opposition’s victory.
“Qaddafi is still capable of doing something awful in the last moments,” Abdul-Jalil told military chiefs of staff and other key defense officials from NATO nations including France, Italy and Turkey.
“Even after the fighting ends, we still need logistical and military support from NATO,” he added. NATO has been bombing Qaddafi’s forces since March under a United Nations mandate to protect Libyan civilians.
Rebels appear to have secured the capital after a week of fierce fighting in which they captured Qaddafi’s compound and then cleared loyalists holed up in the residential neighborhood of Abu Salim nearby.