30 - Mercenaries surrender
duration: 5 min, 8 sec
Submitted by rmby on Wed, 03/08/2011
Shahat, Monday, 21 February, 2011
This video shows something like 50 primarily black men and several lighter Arab captors interacting loudly in an unidentified, crowded room. This is on February 21, the video says, somewhere in Shahet, just east of al Baida in eastern Libya. The apparently recent nature of the capture suggests these men seated along the walls were taken not from the army base in al Baida, which fell on the 18th, but rather at L'Abraq airport, which only fell on the 20th at the latest.
The video is very dark, but I enhanced some segments and stills. The first captive seen, at right perhaps over-lightened, is acutely in custody. He wears a dark jacket with green fabric, perhaps a loyalist scarf, beneath, by which a hefty Libyan bubba hold him like a short leash. The captor's hand has blood on it, and there's a thick little splatter of it on his shirt too (visible at 0:19) The captive is clearly injured with abrasions on the left side of his face and head. His upper jacket is perhaps wet with blood, but not the green cloth, by which he's tugged out-of-frame just after the image at left (0:30).
By the date, locale, number and type of captives, Iconclude that this is a rare video glimpse of some of the "Aruba school captives" captured between the base and the airport. These were called vicious African mercenaries, flown in from Chad and Mali to slaughter peaceful protesters before being captured alive in the hundreds. But in reality, only a few (five) were foreigners, and none had come to fight, only counter-protest.
They were primarily black Libyans from Sabha, flown in to help quell the rioting in al Baida. This had, at the insurgency's initiative, turned to open warfare beneath them, so they landed in a war zone that overwhelmed them quite swiftly. There were only 325 of these recruits to begin with, met at the airport by a well-armed mob of 3,000. Some of the Sabha men took up arms in self-defense, but it seems 200 of them were captured alive with minimal fight.
The remaining prisoners were seen at the Aruba school in Shahet by members of the media and a man from Human Rights Watch, starting on the 23rd, two days after this video was made. Whether this is filmed at the re-purposed school or elsewhere isn't clear. The clues include the room as the camera enters it (below), and a small bookshelf (right, visible at 2:21 in the video). I'm not myself sure what to make of these clues.
we see the cieling, two walls, and a support column at the video's beginning, later windows and a bookshelf. Where would one see these sorts of books-a school, a Mosque, or what?
|This guy had a lot to say|
late in the video, but I doubt
anyone can make it out now.
One captor in particular, apparently a companion of the cameraman, seems to be enjoying himself questioning one black man, judging by the goofy, leering look on his face. By the lack of one on the captive's face, he's not as amused, trying to show his submissiveness and worry. But judging by how he finally gets visibly angry, waves the creep off and walks away after a while, he's not as cowed as some of the others. Not yet, anyway.
A similar but subtler effect is given by the blue-clad, Elvis-looking Arab man, apparently internal security, seated in the corner at 1:06.
More perhaps forthcoming, here or in the comments below, on this rare glimpse and related issues.