Lybia: last of Gaddafi's diehard supporters in Algeria

5,000 suffering hardship, simmering hatred towards host country

15 April, 19:46

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, APRIL 15 - The approximately 5,000 Libyans who took refuge in Algeria to flee the civil war - and the inevitable vendettas which were to follow - now hate the very country which welcomed them in.

    They hate it since, they say, it betrayed Muammar Gaddafi, who they continue to see as a sort of 'father' and not as a violent dictator with blood on his hands, as he is widely described now. Most of them took refuge in the Illizi province, which is known for its vast tracts of desert, and have taken up residence in the provincial capital, Debdeb and Bordj Omar Idriss, barely find the means with which to survive.

    They are helped by those Algerians they consider to be on a par with the Americans and the ''Zionists'', since they also turned their backs on Gaddafi despite his long friendship with their country.

    A mixture of rancor, deep hatred and resignation is felt by the thousands of Libyans, most of whom came from the southern part of the country and not from such large cities as Tripoli and Sirte. People from that south which - like in the case of Sebha - the Libyan government finds itself unable to clear of the presence of former regime loyalists, who at regular intervals make their presence felt and at times take up arms to do so. Most are Tuaregs, the proud population of nomadic origins often seen by Colonel Gaddafi's side, who have not forgotten the privileges they enjoyed under him.

    Now, and especially in Debdeb, they have no choice but to live in refugee camps with a entirely uncertain future ahead.

    Two years ago amid Libya's civil war, they did not hesitate to opt for Algeria over Tunisia - as post-Ben Ali's Tunisia did not offer guarantees of any sort, they say.

    The guarantees they were seeking have failed to materialize, and thus the Libyans of Illizi spend their time trying to figure out what their future may now hold. There is no question of a return to their home country, given concerns over revenge from those who suffered the most under Gaddafi.

    Those who have managed to find work have to do so under the table, earning barely enough to feed their families, and some sell their bodies so as to survive. (ANSAmed).

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