Scenes of elation as Libyans take to Hyde Park after their countries liberation
Celebrating crowds last night descended on the Libyan embassy in Knightsbridge after the revelations that their toppled leader Colonel Muammar el-Gaddafi had been captured and killed after weeks of uncertainty about his whereabouts. Gaddafi, who had not been seen for two months after rebel forces ended his 42 year reign, was finally discovered cowering in a drainpipe. The dictator had been trying to avoid capture by the rebel forces who had overthrown his leadership. The unrest began in Libya with peaceful protests in February, and escalated to a conflict between Gadaffi supporters and the Rebel’s, who sought a new government in the country.
The capture of the Libyan dictator has been surrounded in confusion as it was originally claimed that he had been injured in crossfire but taken alive. However, these rumours have been dispelled with the horrific images of the former Libyan leader’s body. These pictures have become important to prove Gaddafi’s death and avoid the recent suspicion that has surrounded the killing of Osama bin Laden. The decision of the United States Government not to release images of bin Laden and to bury him at sea has caused some to question the death of the al-Qaeda leader.
Despite the confusion surrounding Gaddafi’s death, celebrating crowds gravitated towards the embassy in Knightsbridge after the emergence of the news of his defeat. As jubilant Libyans gathered outside their embassy to celebrate, up to five people were arrested for scaling the building to remove the nation’s flag and replace it with that of the rebels. Mahmud Nacua, the leader of the embassy is quoted as saying ‘it is a glorious and momentous victory against the tyranny of Muamma Gaddafi, his sons and cronies’.
Evan with the scenes of celebration in London, what is unclear is the future of the country. Nato is set to end its seven month mission within days, yet the foreign security, William Hague, has been vague about when the mission will actually end, saying that he wants to be sure that there are no pro-Gaddafi supporters who could still pose a threat.
What is certain though is the importance of the defining moment for Libya yesterday, as the embassy and the adjacent Hyde Park was decked out in the red, green and black of the Libyan Flag as people celebrated the new beginning for the country. Yesterday saw the beginning of a new Libya, one summed up by Nacua as the beginnings of a new opportunity “The Libyan people are looking forward to a very promising future where they can finally start building their free, democratic and just state for which they have fought for about eight months.”