News / Africa

Libyans Celebrate Death of Gadhafi

Moammar Gadhafi (file photo)
Moammar Gadhafi (file photo)

Celebrations are underway across Libya, where officials of the interim government say the country's former leader Moammar Gadhafi has been killed, and other members of his inner circle captured or also dead.  The killing came as fighters loyal to the National Transitional Council took control of Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, and the last major stronghold of the old government.

VOA's Elizabeth Arrott speaks with London coverage editor Mary Motta about the mood in Libya in the wake of the death of former leader Moammar Gadhafi:

Libyans Celebrate Death of Gadhafi
Libyans Celebrate Death of Gadhafi

Libya's provisional government officials say that Moammar Gadhafi was killed during a battle for control of Sirte.  The prime minister of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mahmoud Jibril, confirmed Gadhafi's death at a news conference in Tripoli.

 

Jibril said Libyans have been waiting for what he called "this historic moment."  He said an investigation as to how and by whom Gadhafi was killed is underway. Video of what appeared to be Gadhafi's lifeless body, on the ground and partially unclothed, appeared midday Thursday.

Related video report by Carolyn Presutti.

Later, Arabic television channels showed what appeared to be Gadhafi shortly after his capture, still alive and struggling with those around him. The images spread quickly, and across Libya, where he had ruled with a ruthless grip for four decades, the news prompted massive, spontaneous celebrations.

In Tripoli's main Martyrs' Square, crowds gathered and cheered the news as the definitive end to a dark period in Libya's history. An engineer, who gave only his first name, Osama, describes the scene.

"All the people go out and they celebrate and feel so happy about the end of this Gadhafi's regime and everyone, even the families, the children, the old people, all are out to celebrate this moment.  This moment is very happiness moment now,"

His friend, Fitori Abdl Khadr, also speaking to VOA by phone from Tripoli, says he has no regret that Gadhafi was killed, rather than face justice in a trial.

Abdl Khadr, who took part in the NTC's capture of Tripoli two months ago, says sentiment on the streets is that his death brings "this farce" to an end.

In Benghazi, thousands turned out on the streets where the uprising against Gadhafi began nine months ago.

Marc Ginsberg, former presidential adviser and ambassador to Morocco, discusses what's next for Libya:

The end of Gadhafi's two months on the run and the capture of Sirte mark a turning point in the NTC's efforts to consolidate its control of the country.

NTC officials have said control of Sirte would set in motion a series of political moves leading to elections, a new government and a new constitution - a massive undertaking in a country  where the majority had known nothing "but the arbitrary rule of one man."

The capture of Sirte follows NTC success in another pro-Gadhafi bastion, Bani Walid, earlier this week.  Fighting still continues in southern areas of the country, the vast desert regions bordering Niger, Algeria and Chad.

But control of Gadhafi's hometown provides a geographic as well as symbolic victory, uniting the main population corridor along the coast from east to west.

Libya scholar Ziad Akl of the Ahram Center in Cairo says Gadhafi forces are in a struggle for survival.

"The forces that are pro-Gadhafi, first of all, they are not politically organized, they are not strategically outlined, and they are not fighting actually to gain ground.  They are simply trying to defend the positions they have and stop the revolution from moving on and this is a time- constrained battle," said Akl.

A major portion of that battle ended Thursday with Gadhafi's body reportedly shipped to a mosque in Misrata.

Skype interview with VOA Elizabeth Arrott in Cairo

You May Like

Tunnel Bombs Highlight Savagery of Aleppo Fight

Rebels have used tunneling tactic near government buildings, command posts or supply routes to set off explosives; they detonated their largest bomb this week under Syria's intelligence headquarters More

Sierra Leone Launches New Initiative to Stop Ebola Spread

Government hopes Infection and Prevention Control Units, IPC, will help protect patients and healthcare workers More

UN Official: Fight Against Terrorism Must Not Violate Human Rights

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says efforts by states to combat terrorism are resulting in large scale rights violations against the very citizens they claim to defend 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.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960s Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

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