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Libya, the Day After – posted by

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Mni — After the death of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s four decade long last Thursday in his hometown of Sirte after captivity, the interest of yours sincerely is pure academic. The gory globalized and celebrated pictures of the fallen Libyan leader reopen the critical question of celebrated killings and murders (and indeed the methodology of fighting or armed conflict as mode of political engagement).

It is now an open knowledge that from all accounts (including the untidy white washing official story of the leadership of the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC)) the former Libyan leader was literarily lynched and murdered. The seemingly global acceptable reactions to the mob justice meted to Gadaffi has dragged whatever is remaining of our humanity to the mud. Apart from President Jacob Zuma who on Friday while addressing a joint media briefing with Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at the Union Buildings in Pretoria interrogated the nature of Gadaffi’s death, most African leaders by their loud silence and indifference seem to have accepted televised mob justice for a fleeing Head of state. According to Zuma “Given there was a warrant of arrest against Gaddafi, those who found him should have arrested him and handed him to the ICC… We expected him to be captured, given that everybody knew there was a warrant of arrest issued against him.”

“There is a trend across the world where former leaders accused of injustice are not given an opportunity to stand trial in a court of justice. That is surprising. I think even those who accused him [Gaddafi] would have wanted to see him become answerable,” he said.

We have read the thought-process of South African leadership about the tragedy of Libya, pray what is President Jonathan’s attitude to Gadaffi’s summary mob liquidation?

Certainly it is an open knowledge that while Gadaffi was in the saddle as the “King of Kings” he was definitely no respecter of due process or due justice for his opponents. From his murderous expansionist adventures in Chad in the 1980s (occupation of Aozou Strip) in which some hundreds of thousands were killed, readiness to use bribery and violence to pursue his self-appointed ideological cause, some can say Gadaffi was hunted by the spectre of his bloody methodology to the end. Indeed if we add Gadaffi’s dubious legacy of support for murderer leaders like Idi Amin of Uganda, Charles Tailor of Liberia and hand/limp cutters of Sierra Leone, not few might agree former Sudanese military leader, Numeiri who after accusing Gadaffi of supporting a bloody coup against him in 1976 described Gadaffi as “a split personality- both evil” . Whatever the dark side of Gadaffi’s dictatorship, there is no excuse for the indifference of our humanity to clearly exhibited jungle justice of Libya under the guidance of the “civilized world” and NATO commanders. President Obama in his celebrated Cairo speech audaciously quoted reminded the world that killing a human without justice amounts to destroying a whole humanity. The American President however literarily supervised and hailed the serial murders and lack of due process in Libya in recent weeks. Not until UN promised an inquiry into the death of Gaddafi, President Obama never demanded for accountability with respect of the slain of fleeing members of the old regime. He has actually embraced the news that the former Libyan leader was so killed calling it the end of a long and painful chapter for the country.

The point cannot be overstated. Our humanity must return to civil approach to global governance. We must respect not selectively all the rules of engagements even for the non-respecters like Gadaffi. The world must hold the TNC under the interim Prime Minister Mustapha global Jalal accountable to the promise of non-vengeance and reconciliation. Cathartic bloodletting of the recent months must give way to active reinvention of civil society with vibrant political parties and trade unions which Gadaffi ruthlessly suppressed under his reign. Paradoxically Mustapha Abdul-Jalil’s speech yesterday lacked a new revolutionary social/political and democratic agenda befitting a liberation day speech in this direction. Time however will tell. Meanwhile the question remains; how new is the new Libya?

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