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Serbia: Reactions to the Story of Serbian Mercenaries in Libya

Serbian daily 'Alo' carries an image of Serbian mercenaries in Libya.

Serbian daily 'Alo' carries an image of Serbian mercenaries in Libya.

Update (28 February, 2011):

Two days after Global Voices published this story, the Serbian Ministry of Defence issued a statement on 25 February, 2011, denying Serbian military involvement to the Libyan civil unrest. Quoted in Reuters, the Defence Minister said,

“No active or retired Serbian military personnel were involved in the events in Libya and we deny all such media reports.”

However Libyan anti-government website Libya al Youm reported on 27 February, 2011, that Serbian radio station BIR had reported airplanes from the Serbian Republic carrying mercenaries to suppress demonstrators in Libya.

* * *

According to a Maltese blog Malta CC, Serbian military pilots reportedly took part in the bombing of protesters in the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi. This claim was made public after two Libyan pilots fled to Malta, refusing to bomb their fellow citizens participating in the Libya uprising.

Serbian daily Alo reminded readers that Muammar al-Gaddafi had hired Serbian pilots before: in the 90s, in combat operations against radical Islamists, but also in actions against civilians, in support of the ground forces.

In the same article, Alo revealed that Serbian mercenaries were allegedly killing protesters in the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi:

Serbian mercenaries earn tens of thousands dollars for this job… They come from Serbia, but Bosnian and Croatian agencies are involved in recruiting for this kind of work…”Serbian legionnaires” are veterans of the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia. In addition to former members of the military and police units, the bulk of these forces are the former ["Red Berets"]… Gaddafi pays them as much as they demand! A good number of them had great-paying jobs in various African countries, but this was an offer not to be rejected. It can be expected that in the near future a lot of our contractors go with Gaddafi, who has great confidence in Serbian soldiers.

It appears that Serbian netizens are not too surprised by these allegations and revelations. Krstarica forum is one of the venues rich in debate.

Reg writes:

No wonder, people. Professionals are doing everything for money… No emotions, no morals… Kill for the one who offered more. In the wars in the former Yugoslavia they cooperated with the Croats, Muslims, why now would not work for Gaddafi. It doesn't matter to them at all who the boss is.

Sicilian writes:

It is OK! Gaddafi has always been on the Serbian side…

Soko observes:

It seems that he believes the Serbs most… Libya has not recognized Kosovo, yet another reason to support Gaddafi.

Neca 1977 asks:

How do I apply for Gaddafi's mercenaries?

Mika Egzekutor observes:

Bosniaks and Croats are today finding jobs for those who were shooting them yesterday.

Paja 1408, a Serbian military officer, recalls:

Hey, gentlemen, what is strange about it? I know personally, when I was in military schools, there were also Libyans, Iraqis, Zambians, Palestinians… I know that they were in Russian [military] schools also. Gaddafi's military experts appreciated the school in Yugoslavia… He knew to recruit the best ones to join the Libyan army… Many were coming to help Libyans under special contracts… [...] Personally, I have had an offer to go there, and I know many colleagues who went…

Visitors on an ultra-right, white power forum “Stormfront” also spoke of the alleged involvement of the Serbian “dogs of war” in Libya.

Iraklija says:

Here are a few things that I've heard from a person who served in the Foreign Legion and later as a solo mercenary. Here is what you get if you're a mercenary in Libya:

1. $10,000-$20,000 monthly in cash
2. Citizenship
3. Wife and prostitutes
4. Gold medals
5. An opportunity to work at Gaddafi's security sector or for security of a Gaddafi family member

  • Dejan

    People, what you are reading is pure lies. No Serbs are fighting for the Libyan regime!

  • ILLYRIA

    PEOPLE WHO USED TO KILL ARE JUST DOING THIER JOB. THEY HAVE BEEN EDUCATED TO KILL CROATIANS, BOSNIANS AND ALBANIANS, AND NOW THEY KILL LIBYANS.
    BESIDES, GHADAFI WAS GREATEST SUPPORTER OF FORMER SERBIAN LEADER, SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC

    • http://sashamrkailo.com/ Sasha

      If you could stop shouting that would be a good start for having a conversation. You know not all Serbs are murderers and not all Albanians are victims. Dictators love each other no matter their color or ideology.

  • WhiteCrow

    Nice, nice,… propaganda…
    I have heard that the Serbs attacked Mars :)

    • Mile

      If Mars would supply all tools and money as Gaddafi it could be true.

  • Miloš

    This is just a propaganda. Why don’t you first check if that what are you telling is a truth?

    On ,,Krstarica” is a lot of Croatians, more than Serbs! And they wrote theese comments but you have translated it wrong! BTW, Allo newspaper is bought by one strange company!

    • Alex

      Alo is paper readed by 15 people in Serbia….thats all

  • HowYesNo

    If you quote someone use their real “names”!!! Use your brain when you’re translating something, not Google translate…

  • http://randomdijit.blogspot.com DJT

    Fascinating. I find nothing substantive to support allegations that this is all “anti-Serb propaganda,” but even if it is, the sympathetic forum comments are interesting in their own right.

  • http://renolanguages.com Álvaro Degives-Más

    Spanish newspaper El País runs a story (in Spanish language) about minors from Chad, Nigeria and Mali serving as mercenaries on Gaddafi’s side.

  • Anarkist

    Funny, but i knew that the words “serbs” and “serbia” will be mentioned in a way about the situation in Lybia. Check in wikipedia about Gadafi, you’ll see photos with him and the russians and serbians lidears who are the strongest supporters of his policy.

    • http://sashamrkailo.com/ Sasha

      Funny, did you hear that people from Serbia (members of Otpor – a non violent youth group which was crucial in overthrowing our dictator) have trained Egyptian youth in tactics of non violent struggle?

      • Wellinformed

        Wake up Sasha, Otpor was CIA operation.

        • nikkolas

          Acording to Times and NYT money was given in USA Embassy in Budapest.

        • http://sashamrkailo.com/ Sasha

          Wake up yourself. You know much about CIA and conspiracy theories, eh?

  • Pingback: Qaddafi’s Mercenaries: A Nasty Rainbow Batallion « Matthew Ismail

  • georg levi de boer

    forum krstarica is not relevant. very few people knaw something about libia. over 300 Serbs who were there working returned from Libya yesterday. they do not confirm the news carried by Western media. there are a lot of robberies, but it’s not politics. So Forum kstarica is a free forum with a lot of frustrated people, and REG is a good example because she does not understand in our own political system. they can not confirm anithing

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