Libya: Gaddafi is dead

Video from Sirte both of his last moments and his corpse are shown to the Libyan people.

No wonder the battle for Sirte was so fierce, resistance so robust. Old regime loyalist fighters had him in their midst. Protecting Muammar Gaddafi, that wild-eyed tyrant who played with the minds of his own people and those of numerous other countries. 

The scenes of jubilation on the faces of the victorious are incredible, as this great weight has been lifted from them. The man who brutalised the majority of them, who traumatised and abused them, is dead.

Born in a tent in 1942, died as he was dragged bloodied from a sewer in 2011. Today is the day to recall the lives and pain of his victims. 

Globally, people rejoiced: in New York a woman whose relative was killed at Locherbie, speaking to a TVNZ reporter, said that she hoped he was in hell with Hitler. In Tripoli, his old capital, the population spilled onto the streets in unbridled joy at the news. Fireworks and dancing. His blood will pour into reduced prices at global petrol pumps as the oil price tumbles.

Now those who remain can start to rebuild their country, brick-by-brick, step-by-step. Good luck to Libya. Well done indeed. The road may be hard and rocky, the integration of the militias into the national army begins or, if not, they have to be decommissioned. 

Elections are forecast within two years, and a peaceful environment responsive to the rule of law has to prevail by that time. But nations were not built overnight and, in this country with no democratic tradition, celebration must lead to pluralism. 

I wish the very best for Libya, a nation reborn today.

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