Muammar Gaddafi is dead: Canada to end military mission in Libya


Libyan rebels celebrating the taking of Qaddafi’s hometown Sirte in Tripoli, Libya.
Photo by Reuters

The death of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was announced today, on October 20, 2011. According to multiple reports, including an official statement by Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC), colonel and de facto absolute ruler of Libya Qaddafi was killed during the final assault on his hometown Sirte.

Earlier today Sirte fell into the hands of the NTC rebels-become-rulers, who gradually took control of Libya over the last nine months with the help of NATO-led coalition. In an official statement following the taking of the city, NTC’s interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said: “We confirm that all the evils plus Gaddafi have vanished from this beloved country. I think it’s for the Libyans to realise that it’s time to start a new Libya, a united Libya, one people, one future.”

At the same time it is not yet immediately clear how Qaddafi lost his life. According to several reports he was taken captive by the NTC fighters, beaten and executed. A very graphic video circulating on YouTube seems to support this account of events.


WARNING: GRAPHIC FOOTAGE (NSFW)
Video by TubeExpression

Qaddafi’s alleged execution in captivity will certainly bring additional scrutiny to the National Transitional Council’s treatment of prisoners of war, as well as the legality of NATO’s intervention in this conflict.

Nevertheless the Arab Spring movement can celebrate another victory. A 42 years old dictatorship that brutally suppressed all previous popular protests was finally destroyed by its own citizens, bringing a new dawn to Libya.

Of course no one is really sure what this new Libyan dawn entails. Who will now take power, who will win and who will lose, and whether Libya will be better off now with Gaddafi gone are still open questions that need to be answered.

But at least we already know that Canada will now be ending its military mission in Libya. According to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “Our government shall be speaking with our allies to prepare for the end of our military mission in the next few days.

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Categories: Arab Spring, Politics

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