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Cold comfort for black Libyans in Benghazi

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 02:38

Oct. 17 - Black Libyan refugees are suffering shortages of food and medicine at a camp in Benghazi. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

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After weeks on the run, thousands of black Libyans driven from their homes during the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi find refuge of sorts in a camp in Benghazi. Their flight began last summer, when anti-Gaddafi forces overran their home town of Tawergha and vengeance-seeking crowds ransacked it, leaving behind a ghost town. In just two week the camp has grown to nearly 3,000 people. Aid is coming in. But some are still hungry. Many need the basic necessities. Residents are torn between a desire to go home and fear of what would happen if they did. Throughout the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi, his opponents have accused him of hiring fighters from neighboring African countries which led to reports of mistreatment of blacks, including Libyans. SOUNDBITE: Libyan refugee, saying: (Arabic): "We are asking the National Transitional Council to help us to go back to our homeland, because this would be better than staying in such camps. We can co-operate together to reconstruct the damaged houses in Tawerga, I know it is our fate, but it would be fixed with some cooperation." Some refugees have become sick from contaminated food or water. There are reports of hepatitis in the camp. SOUNDBITE: Dr. Randa Meftah, saying: (Arabic): "We do not receive any help from the governmental associations or organizations. The National Council does not appoint a certain governmental committee to help us. No medicine, no aid," The Tawergha displaced add yet another delicate task to the growing workload of Libya's interim rulers, as they try to reunify the country and impose the rule of law. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Cold comfort for black Libyans in Benghazi

Monday, October 17, 2011 - 02:38