TRIPOLI, Aug 31 – Nigerian Festus Prince said he took his family and ran after he saw a Libyan gang shoot his brother in the head for refusing to hand over money.
His tale is just one of several told by Africans at a camp near Tripoli describing intimidation or outright violence as forces fighting Muammar Gaddafi entered Tripoli.
Prince, one of Libya’s army of foreign workers, survived the ordeal at the cost of everything he had earned as a decorator in the country.
“A group of men broke through my door and asked for the money. I handed it over, and in a few seconds I lost everything I had worked for for seven years,” the 28-year-old said.
“My brother didn’t give them his money. They told me to move out of the way, and they made him lie down. Then they shot him in the head,” added Prince, who counts the clothes he wears at a camp outside the Libyan capital as his only possessions.
Tens of thousands of foreign workers have fled Libya since NATO backed armed militia and mercenaries began fighting against the Libyan Government and Gaddafi’s 42-year-rule in February, with Black Libyans and migrant African workers afraid they have become targets for fighters who accuse them of being mercenaries for Gaddafi.
This antipathy appears to have spread to all Africans, leaving them vulnerable to attacks, robbery and other abuse by the gun-toting, mostly young, fighters who ousted Gaddafi.