"Sending in mercenaries [to intimidate demonstrators] is a strategic mistake for Gaddafi. The only thing it does is convince police officers and soldiers to turn against the regime"..
Omar is a Libyan activist exiled in London. He is the coordinator of Libyan Youth Movement
an organisation composed of Libyan nationals living both inside and outside of the country. They organise anti-Gaddafi demonstrations through social networks.
Demonstrators didn’t film these images because they’re sadists. They filmed these scenes to show to the world that Muammar Gaddafi recruited African mercenaries to make sure his repression was effective. There is a rumour going around that they will receive 9,000 euros for every Libyan they deliver dead. [Some websites cite figures as high as 22,000 euros other cite a per diem of 370 euros. These rumours have not been confirmed]. What we do know is that they do not speak the local Arabic. Often, they speak English or French.
This video shows the cadavers of two alleged African mercenaries on the hood of a car in Al Baida. This video was posted on YouTube February 20. WARNING THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES.
East of the country, mercenaries were hunted down by protestors with police help. Sending in mercenaries [to intimidate demonstrators] is a strategic mistake for Gaddafi. The only thing it does is convince police officers and soldiers to turn against the regime. In Al Baida, Derna and Benghazi the family members of local police officers are taking part in the protests. Even in the army’s core, there are renown soldiers resigning across Benghazi and Sirte. [The International Federation for Human Rights confirmed to AFP Monday that army resignations will give way for cities “to fall”].
Today, these three towns were surrounded by mercenary troops. One of my sources in Benghazi told me that some of them were captured by protesters. That’s how we know that they’re from Chad or Mauritania. They’re dressed in military uniforms and they sometimes wear yellow helmets. They’re dressed like Gaddafi’s soldiers but they are black”.
An African thought to be a mercenary is captured by demonstrators, east of Libya. This video was posted on YouTube February 21.
In the video, the captured man answers questions being asked by the mob of protestors in Arabic.
A protestor: “Who is giving you orders”?
The man: “They come from up high. I swear, I swear…orders, orders”.
A protestor: “They told you to fire at us”?
The man: “Yes, yes”.
The mob begins to fight. Numerous voices begin to shout “no, don’t do that…make him talk. We cannot act like they do”.