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

Unpaid Kurdish Fighters Sign of Economic Woes

Sharp cuts in Kurdistan's budget by Baghdad, falling oil revenue, coping with refugees, inflated public sector have hit regional economy hard More

Koreas Exchange List of Envoys for Family Reunion Talks

Officials will discuss date, venue and number of participants for reunion; Seoul hopes to hold event late this month More

China Targets 197 in Online Speech Crackdown

Nearly 200 punished for 'spreading rumors' online in ongoing crackdown on free speech 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.
Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 02, 2015 6:19 PM
Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.

VOA Blogs