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

Sunni-Shi’ite Divide Threatens Middle East Stability

Analysts say ancient dispute that traces back to Islamic Revolution is fueling modern day unrest More

Shifting Demographics Lie Beneath Racial Tensions in Ferguson

As Missouri suburb morphed from majority white to majority black, observers say power structure remained static More

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Restriction is toughest since Soviet era, though critics reject move as patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid