Madman Gaddafi´s allies and diplomats are deserting him, but he can still count on the mercenaries in his "Islamic legion" formed after the French Foreign Legion:
The African fighters that Gadhafi is allegedly using against protesters come from several nations, representing a map of the Libyan leader's often contentious history with his neighbours.
Many young citizens of Mali and Niger who flocked to Libya in the 1970s and 1980s were ethnic Tuaregs and were recruited into an "Islamic Legion" modeled on the French Foreign Legion.
A Tuareg politician in Mali said he believes 16,000 Tuareg remain in the Libyan security forces, based in Tripoli and Sabha but not in Benghazi, a major city that has broken away from Gadhafi's rule.
"We've been getting updates from some of them by phone," Ibrahim Ag Mohamed Assaleh told The Associated Press. "They say their orders are to protect Gadhafi and they will defend him to the end."
Witnesses in Libya have reported African fighters shooting at protesters or being captured by anti-Gadhafi forces. Witnesses have described mercenaries being flown in to put down the rebellion, but most fighters are already in the strife-torn country.
Read the entire article here, and another piece here.
(image by French Foreign Legion)
The original French Foreign Legion was founded on this day 180 years ago by king Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria. President Sarkozy could give the legion a nice "birthday present" by allowing them to take out Gaddafi´s bad imitation.