Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The end of an era as Qadhafi is captured and killed

This month marks the end of an era. News of the capture and death of Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi in Sirte on 20th October was a truly momentous occasion for a country that had been held hostage to his brutal rule for more than 40 years. Stunned Libyans took the streets in jubilation as if they could hardly believe that the long awaited event had finally come true. As de facto interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril declared, 'We have been waiting for this moment for a long time. Muammar Qadhafi has been killed.'

Qadhafi's death means that the country can finally start to put the trauma of the past 42 years behind it. Despite the fact that the country has been almost completely in the hands of its new leaders since the fall of Tripoli, as long as Qadhafi remained alive he was able to cast his dark shadow over the country.

As recently as the start of October, he was still calling on Libyans to rise up against their new leaders. While his calls for a million Libyans to come out and demonstrate were clearly completely far fetched, all the time he was alive he had the potential to create trouble.

His death therefore means that the country's leaders can now breathe a little easier as they work toward rebuilding their country. Furthermore, the liberation of Sirte that accompanied Qadhafi's death means that the National Transitional Council (NTC) can finally establish an interim government to oversee the political transition.

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

© 2011 Menas Associates

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