By Shane P. Donnelly
Last Thursday, Oct. 20, rebel forces captured Libyan leader Muammar Gaddaﬁ after he was injured by NATO airstrikes outside of his hometown of Sirte. After hours of reported torture, Gaddaﬁ was shot and killed, and his body was put on public display in a market freezer alongside the bodies of his Defense Minister and one of his sons. The media broadcasted footage and pictures of Gaddaﬁ’s body and the UN Commissioner of Human Rights stated there would be a full investigation into Gaddaﬁ’s death after cell phone footage of his torture emerged.
While NATO forces are scheduled to leave Libya at the end of October, the head of the National Transitional Council (NTC) asked NATO to extend its mission. The NTC, the group of rebels responsible for killing Gaddaﬁ, claims they need assistance maintaining authority by eliminating remaining loyalists and disarming other rebel militias who feel marginalized by the NTC’s presence. Other regional groups and some Islamists have expressed disfavor for interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril and worry he will not relinquish power despite promises that he will step down following the successful transition to a proper government.
Although Gaddaﬁ has been killed, it is uncertain whether the violence will end and some fear the rise of counter-insurgency movements similar to those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The new government must overhaul the country’s infrastructure and restart the oil industry to encourage economic recovery. The NTC has requested that NATO remain in Libya until at least the end of the year to aid in providing security while Libya attempts to unite the rebel forces and consolidate power. NATO will decide whether or not it will extend its mission on Friday, Oct. 28.