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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

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