News / Africa

Libya's Liberation Announcement Set For Sunday

Libyan children  celebrate in Souk el-Juma district in Tripoli, Libya,  Oct. 21, 2011.
Libyan children celebrate in Souk el-Juma district in Tripoli, Libya, Oct. 21, 2011.
Al Pessin

Libya's provisional leaders have set Sunday as the official end of the revolution that toppled, and eventually killed, Moammar Gadhafi, with a ceremony planned for the rebel headquarters city of Benghazi and celebrations expected throughout the country.

There was a party atmosphere in several parts of Tripoli Saturday night, as people awaited the announcement of the formal end of the revolution. It has been a moment eight months in the making, since protesters started the uprising that ended 42 years of dictatorship.

At the Ras Ajdar border crossing with Tunisia, Libyans in flag bedecked cars packed with children flowed across, as exiled families returned to join the celebrations. The old red, green and black Libyan flag, adopted anew by the National Transitional Council, was everywhere.

The formal end of the revolution, after months of fierce fighting, is to mark the beginning of a process to hold elections, write a new constitution and form a new government.

The event will take place three days after Gadhafi was killed in questionable circumstances in or near his hometown, Sirte, as rebel forces were overrunning his supporters' last strongholds. There have been international calls for an investigation into the circumstances of the former leader's death.

He was apparently traveling in a convoy that was hit by a NATO airstrike. Rebel fighters say they found him hiding in a drain pipe after the attack. Cell phone videos show him injured but alive, but he was dead by the time he arrived at a local hospital, raising concerns that rebel fighters executed him, or possibly beat him to death either deliberately or accidentally.

His body was later put on display in a freezer at a butcher shop in Misrata, where opponents joyfully passed by and took pictures. Rebel supporters also set up an open-air display of broken statues and other artifacts in Misrata.

One of the organizers, Abdel Basset Al-Haddad said the exhibit demonstrates that the Gadhafi era of tyranny and one-party rule is over and Libyans can “start a new life.”

Gadhafi's mercurial and often brutal one-man control of Libya started with a coup in 1969, and only began to erode during the revolution, finally breaking down in August, when he fled his capital.

The NATO alliance, which conducted a seven-month bombing campaign to disable Gadhafi's forces and protect civilians, said its warplanes hit a convoy of what it called 11 armed vehicles near Sirte on Thursday, the day Gadhafi was killed. NATO says its planes flew again on Friday, apparently on reconnaissance missions, but did not carry out any bombing runs. Officials say the NATO mission will formally end on October 31.

The euphoria among rebels and their supporters at Gadhafi's death, and widespread relief that the fighting appears to be over, will be prevalent again on Sunday. But before long Libyans will have to get down to the difficult business of building a new society.

Some analysts believe Gadhafi's death makes it less likely that the country will face an insurgency. But others warn that the unity of the anti-Gadhafi forces may be in jeopardy now that their sworn enemy is gone.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid