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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid