News / Africa

Obama: Gadhafi Death Ends Long, Painful Chapter for Libya

President Barack Obama speaks at White House Oct., 20, 2011, on the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
President Barack Obama speaks at White House Oct., 20, 2011, on the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

President Barack Obama says the death of former Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi ends what he calls a long and painful chapter, after decades of rule by an iron fist. Officials say the president was briefed early Thursday about Gadhafi’s death.  

President Obama said he is very proud of the NATO alliance’s work in Libya, and of the Libyan people’s efforts to topple their longtime leader.

In a White House meeting, the president thanked Norway’s prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, for his country’s contributions to the NATO mission in Libya, and stressed the importance of international cooperation.

“We were proud of the leadership we showed in that process, but increasingly, wherever we have the possibility of working with outstanding partners like Norway, then I think that we are going to be even more effective,” Obama said.

Earlier Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said the killing of Gadhafi will end the NATO mission in Libya, which started in March to protect Libyan civilians from Gadhafi’s forces.

“Not just because of the announcement of Gadhafi’s death, but because of the successful taking of Sirte and other areas, most of Libya is now under control of rebel forces, under control of the TNC,” Carney said.

Carney said the Transitional National Council, which is governing Libya, is the only authority which is claiming to be in charge.

Mr. Obama’s spokesman echoed the president’s call for the TNC to build a democratic government as quickly as possible.  He said the group has consistently promised to do so.

“It has been a number of months since we recognized the TNC, and we have, even prior to that, been engaged diplomatically with the TNC, as have our allies.  So we have a good feeling for and understanding of that body, and we would simply point you to the statements that they have made about their commitment to a democratic transition in Libya,” Carney said.

Carney said the United States will work with other countries to assist Libya in its transition to democracy.  He did not specify how that would be done.

He also said Washington is calling on Libya’s leaders to consolidate military forces under civilian control and work to control dangerous materials.

The White House spokesman indicated that U.S. military intervention in Syria, to drive out that country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, is not likely.  But he said the movement called the “Arab Spring” will likely touch Syria as well.

“The events of this entire year in that region of the world have spoken more dramatically than any individual could about where the future lies in that region.  And it is a future that lies with the youth of the region and those who are demanding greater democracy, greater accountability from their governments, greater freedom.  That is as true in Syria as it is in Libya,” Carney said.

Carney said the president was informed about Gadhafi’s death at his daily security briefing Thursday, but was aware of reports about the event earlier in the day.

You May Like

US Companies Pledge Action on Climate Change

Goals include reducing emissions by as much as 50 percent, reducing water usage by 80 percent, and buying 100 percent renewable energy

IMF Bets on China’s Resolve to Reform

IMF announcement already raising questions about just how much Beijing is committed to such reforms

UNICEF: Hidden Epidemic of HIV Among Adolescents

Researchers warn that Asia Pacific nations facing sharp rise in incidence of HIV among adolescents

This forum has been closed.
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.
With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?i
Carol Pearson
November 29, 2015 1:23 PM
The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs