Your Take: Risks for Dark-Skinned Libyans

Global community must act to end their torture and killing in post-Qaddafi Libya.

Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images
Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations must work with the National Transitional Council to strengthen the rule of law, stop revenge attacks and end human-rights violations against dark-skinned people.

The Obama administration provides Libya military training, sales and equipment, which comprise the machinery of repression being unleashed against dark-skinned people. It is unconscionable to continue the steady flow of weapons to a military engaged in ethnic cleansing and torture. This is not tolerated in places like Darfur and should also not be tolerated in Libya.

U.S. military sales and training should end. Further, the United States should use all diplomatic measures to pressure the National Transitional Council to ensure the protection of all civilians, including dark-skinned people in Libya today.

The African Union’s Peace and Security Council has called for an end to racism-related violence and persecution in Libya. The African Union can do more, using its bully pulpit to draw attention to this alarming issue. Pressure must be brought to bear on Libya’s National Transitional Council.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights advances global principles against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, yet the dream of a world free of racism remains woefully unfilled.

People of conscience around the world must stand firm against racial injustice so that the vision of the true revolutionaries in Libya is not mired by tortuous racism.

Emira Woods, originally from Liberia, is co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies.

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