Tag Archives: Gaddafi

Libya Rejoices Over Gaddafi’s Death

Libya rejoiced after reports of Muammar al-Gaddafi’s death were confirmed Thursday, marking the end of a forty-two-year reign of terror.  Shouts praising God, gunfire, and noisemakers pervaded the streets of Tripoli.  Today, the National Transitional Council (NTC) declared the country free and will start transitioning into a democracy.

NTC fighters celebrate their victory after taking control of former dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte. (Photo courtesy of the New York Times)

NTC forces captured Gaddafi near his hometown of Sirte after a U.S. predator drone and a French fighter jet fired on a convoy leaving the city to stop its progress.  The Libyan fighters attacked and found the despot.  The nature of his death is unclear.  Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, who has promised to resign after liberation, said Gaddafi died in crossfire between his supporters and the NTC and died en route to a hospital.  Others, including Navi Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, are uncertain whether this is true.  Recently available video footage suggests that he was alive when he was captured.  Pillay wants an investigation.

For Libyans, it was a chance to celebrate.

Car passengers waved the independence flag outside their windows,.  Others on the street sprayed the passing vehicles with orange blossom water, a custom traditionally reserved for weddings.

The international community generally stated its approval of the liberation.

“We can definitely say that the Gaddafi regime has come to an end,” said U.S. President Barack Obama. “The dark shadow of tyranny has been lifted, and with this enormous promise the Libyan people now have a great responsibility to build an inclusive and tolerant and democratic Libya that stands as the ultimate rebuke to Gaddafi’s dictatorship.”

The Sun, Great Britain’s most popular newspaper, bore the headline: “That’s for Lockerbie!” The headline was a reference to the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, which killed 270 people.  An agent of Gaddafi’s was convicted for conducting the attack.

Libya faces the challenges of building a new government almost from scratch and finding a common goal to keep its people united.

While forming the government will be a major issue going forward, Libyans are able to celebrate right now.  Younis Fenadi, a climate researcher at the Libyan National Meteorological Center, was happy to learn of the news, saying that Gaddafi’s death brings a degree of closure to the country.  Over time, he believes, they will receive answers to questions about Gaddafi’s behavior during his regime.  But more than anything, he is enjoying the potential for a brighter day.

“I am glad that I get a chance, I am 52 years old now, to speak freely in my country,” Fenadi said.


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Libyan Militiamen Sues Woman Who Accuses Them of Rape

Coat of arms of Libya -- the "Hawk of Qur...

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Members of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi‘s militia have filed suit against a Libyan woman who accused them of rape.

On Saturday, the woman was removed by force from the Rixos Hotel. Her whereabouts are unknown.

A government spokesman initially described the woman as drunk and delusional. Then, he stated that she was sober. Finally, he referred to her as a prostitute and a thief. He also said the case against the men was dropped because the woman refused to submit to a medical examination.

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Speaker Boehner Challenges President Obama on Libya

John Boehner

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This week, Speaker of the House John Boehner made public a letter in which he asked President Obama to explain what he hoped to achieve with military intervention in Libya.

He criticized the President for failing to get Congressional approval before taking military action. He further suggested that Pres. Obama consulted more closely in his decision with the Arab League and the United Nations than he did with the United States Congress.

Earlier in the week, Boehner took a different view, saying that America had a “moral obligation” to help the opponents of Muammar el-Qaddafi.

Via NYT.

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