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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid