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

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent — Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail 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.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More