News / Africa

    Gadhafi Burial Delayed

    Image taken from amateur video posted on a social media website and obtained by Reuters, October 21, 2011, shows former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, covered in blood, after his capture by NTC fighters in Sirte.
    Image taken from amateur video posted on a social media website and obtained by Reuters, October 21, 2011, shows former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, covered in blood, after his capture by NTC fighters in Sirte.
    Elizabeth Arrott

    Libyan officials say they will delay the burial of ex-leader Moammar Gadhafi as they investigate the circumstances of his death Thursday in his hometown Sirte. The United Nations Human Rights Commission is among those calling for a probe. Meanwhile, Libyans lined up at a shopping center on the outskirts of the city Misrata, hoping to get a glimpse of the body of their former leader. His body lay in repose Friday on a mattress in the freezer of an old meat store.  Some of the visitors used their mobile phones to take pictures or video of the dead leader.  Other video from the freezer showed Libyans posing with the body.  Outside, some Libyans shouted "God is great."  One man said Gadhafi's body looked "a little frightening."

    Questions of how and by whom Gadhafi was killed intensified Friday, even as many Libyans continued to celebrate that, no matter by what means, the longtime leader was gone and another milestone in their country's transformation had been reached.

    Fighters in Misrata chanted that "the blood of the martyrs will not be in vain" while others expressed their relief and joy at the developments in gatherings after Friday prayers.

    Watch related Sean Maroney video report

    More video emerged that appears to be of the moment Gadhafi was captured alive.  Other images from later in the day show him lying apparently lifeless on the ground, surrounded by angry men.

    Officials have given differing accounts of how he died, with the interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril saying he was shot in the head during crossfire on the way to a hospital.  Others say he died of his initial wounds while on route, while the most widely circulated versions have him kicked and killed by his captors.

    U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said Friday the video evidence is disturbing.  Speaking in Geneva, he added there should be an investigation to see if he was killed in fighting or executed after his capture.

    "Summary executions are strictly illegal under any circumstances.  It's different if someone is killed in combat," Colville said. "There was a civil war taking place in Libya, so if the person died as part of the combat, that's a different issue.  That's normally acceptable in the circumstances.  But if something else has happened, someone is captured and then deliberately killed, that's a very serious matter."

    What to do with remains

    There was also debate about what to do with Gadhafi's remains.  By Islamic custom, he should be buried as quickly as possible, although several officials say that an investigation will have to be carried out before that can happen.  Officials are also said to be undecided on where his grave should be, with some arguing for a secret burial.

    The former leader's body was initially taken to a mosque in Misrata.  Authorities say it is now being held there in cold storage until they can decide on the next step.

    Gadhafi's son

    The body of his son Muatassim Ghadafi, also killed Thursday, was on public display in the same town.

    Gadhafi and several members of his family and inner circle were attempting to flee Sirte Thursday when a NATO strike hit the convoy. Gadhafi managed to escape and apparently took refuge in a drain pipe nearby.  

    NATO, working under a U.N. mandate, played a key role in helping the new government come to power.  The alliance is now winding down its operations.

    Libyan officials say that after the events of Thursday they are ready to declare Libya liberated.    Authorities are expected to announce plans for the next steps in the political process at a news conference Saturday.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora