At the height of the rebellion in Libya, reports that were filtering out of Tripoli suggested that African migrant workers in the country were systematically targeted by rebels and some were imprisoned without charges after being accused of supporting Gaddafi. There were also reports of torture and serious human rights abuses while some were even said to be summarily executed by determined fighters bent on purging out remnants of Gaddafi elements in the country. International rights organisations repeatedly called for investigations into the abuses – but little effort was made by the International Community, who were more keen to see the exit of the Libyan strongman, to look into the matter.
After observing images on TV showing the former Libyan leader’s capture and ultimate death, where he was seen alive and was even pleading for his life to be spared, serious questions about how he met his death are being asked. It seems he was assassinated in cold blood by rebel troops and then dragged along the streets of Sirte. If this is really what happened, then it is imperative of the international community to look into what is apparently a tragedy. Gaddafi may have been the brutal dictator in whose hands innocent people must have perished, but that in no way means those who captured him should execute justice in such barbaric fashion. It comes across that there was a plan in place to prosecute the war against Gaddafi, but there was none designed to deal with the aftermath: what should happen if Gaddafi was captured? NATO was at the heart of the Military intervention, but did it offer advice as to what should ultimately happen if Gaddafi was arrested? If it did, the NTC rebels chose to ignore it!
It seems the desire to hunt down and get rid of Gaddafi must have blurred the vision of World leaders as to how to effectively deal with the aftermath. This paints a nasty picture as to the reputation of NATO and the countries at its core. It also presents a reckless agenda at the heart of the rebellion, and in some way questions the integrity of the NTC leaders who were in direct control of the rebel army. Amnesty International has called for an independent inquiry into the circumstances of the death of Muammar Gaddafi, as footage broadcasted by some Arab satellite television stations showed the ousted Libyan dictator being manhandled by pro-government fighters. The rights group has called for the National Transitional Council (NTC) to publish the full facts of Gaddafi’s death and according to them, hold a “full, independent and impartial inquiry to establish the circumstances of Colonel al-Gaddafi’s death”.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary William Hague has acknowledged on Channel 4 news that the footage appeared to show that Gaddafi was captured alive and then assassinated. But he rightly said “Until we’re sure I don’t want to add to speculation about that. I agree that the footage does suggest that. We would have preferred him to be able to face justice at the International Criminal Court or in a Libyan court for his crimes. We don’t approve of extra-judicial killings. At the same time we are not going to mourn him – this and the fall of Sirte and Bani Walid is a major opportunity for Libya to be able to move on to what they’ve fought for all this year, into a free and democratic future.”
Britain has a serious ethical foreign policy, and nothing so far suggests that it had anything to do with the ultimate demise of the former Libyan dictator. NTC officials may have serious questions to answer, as the final events leading to Gaddafi’s death puts a sour taste to what was already a magnificent job done by Britain and its allies in ending the tyrannical rule of Muammar Gaddafi.
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