Yes, there indeed are several divisions of black Africans and citizens of Chad in the army of Libya, that is formed on the principle of territorial militia. But they can hardly be considered mercenaries - not more than French Foreign Legion or non-American citizens in US Army. In general, the status of black men of Libyan army's various units is civil servants.
In a country with 6 million inhabitants, one third are black (the most oppressed group in the country). Would not it be easier for the rebels to call for their solidarity and ask them join the rebel ranks? But not only black Libyans do not join the rebellion - they flee in terror.
The first wave of reports and evidence of beatings of black Africans began in February and March. The rebels, under the trademark of fighting with the mercenaries from Chad, were slaughtering all black people with no mercy. They even started to post various Youtube videos with their actions filmed (like this:
"We left behind our friends from Chad. We left behind their bodies. We had 70 or 80 people from Chad working for our company. They cut them dead with pruning shears and axes, attacking them, saying you're providing troops for Gaddafi. The Sudanese, the Chadians were massacred. We saw it ourselves. I am a worker, not a fighter. They took me from my house and [raped] my wife", - a Turkish oilfield worker, who fled Libya, told BBC in February 25.
One of the editors of the Monthly Review, Yoshie Furuhashi, writes:
"The black African workers now live in fear in the territories held by the rebels in Libya. Some have been attacked by mobs, some have been imprisoned and some of their houses and shops have been torched. Many African workers say they felt safer under the regime of Gaddafi".
In March, a reporter from the Daily Mail was in Benghazi and reported:
"Africans I saw ranged from a 20 year old and a late forties, with a grizzled beard. Most wore casual clothes. When they realized that I spoke English erupted in protests. "We did nothing," one told me, before he was silenced. "We are all construction workers in Ghana. Do not harm anyone. "
Another accused, a man in green overalls, showed the paint on their sleeves and said: "This is my job. I do not know how to shoot a gun "
Abdul Nasser, 47, protested: "They lie about us. They took us out of our house at night when we were asleep. " While still complaining, they were taken.
International Business Times published an article on March 2 that says:
"According to reports, over 150 black Africans at least a dozen different countries escaped from Libya by plane and landed at the airport in Nairobi, Kenya, with horrific stories of violence."
"We were attacked by locals who said they were mercenaries who killed people. I mean blacks who refused to see "Julius told Reuters Kiluu, a construction supervisor for 60 years.
Michel Collon with a fact-finding delegation were in Libya in July and when he learned what had happened, he said:
"I met these people during my research in Tripoli. I could talk to some people. They were not "mercenaries," as the rebels and the media tell. Some were dark-skinned Libyans (much of the population is of African type, in fact), others were black civilians from African countries who stayed in Libya for a long time. All support Gaddafi precisely because he opposes to racism and treats them as Arabs and Africans on an equal footing. On the contrary, the rebels in Benghazi are known for their racism, and blacks were victims of terrible systematic atrocities. The paradox is that NATO wants to bring democracy to a section of Al Qaeda and Libyan Ku Klux Klan-type racists".
Here's another footage, with English explanations given:
After the rebels entered Tripoli, numerous reports of black men being killed appeared again. Twitter explodes with rebels' messages about killing "African mercenaries". In the chaos of embattled Tripoli, black people are being simply seized from the streets and taken somewhere openly.
On the photo above we can see that the dead people's hands are tied with plastic handcuffs and their clothes are relatively clean. This means these people were captured not after a fight, but deliberately.
The Colonel was being building good relations with the south of Africa. NATO plan of destabilizing Libya might as well include having the black Africans turning away from this country forever, using contempt and xenophobia of the rebels as a driving force of the persecution. After all, lynching black people simply for being in Africa sounds ridiculous. But results are pretty much of the same racist kind, and they are not funny at all.