NATO has declared victory in Libya once more, this time on news that the former leader may have died somewhere near Sirte. The NATO Secretary General, Ander Fogh Rasmussen, said in a statement:
“After 42 years, Colonel Qadhafi`s rule of fear has finally come to an end. Libya can draw a line under a long dark chapter in its history and turn over a new page. Now the people of Libya can truly decide their own future.
“I call on all Libyans to put aside their differences and work together to build a brighter future.
“I urge the National Transitional Council to prevent any reprisals against civilians and to show restraint in dealing with defeated pro-Qadhafi forces.
“NATO and our partners have successfully implemented the historic mandate of the United Nations to protect the people of Libya. We will terminate our mission in coordination with the United Nations and the National Transitional Council. With the reported fall of Bani Walid and Sirte, that moment has now moved much closer.”
NATO still claims that no ground troops have participated in Operation Unified Protector.
Ban Ki Moon said that “this is only the end of the beginning. The road ahead for Libya and its people will be difficult and full of challenges.” He urged all sides to lay down arms and not try to extract revenge for the violence of the past months. The UN Support Mission in Libya led by Ian Martin will take coalition soldiers into Libya, reportedly for the first time.
It is proposed that this force will provide transitional security to allow for elections and the restoration of security. The UN Secretary General spoke for the Libyan people saying “they have asked the United Nations to play a significant role in assisting them”.
The Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Dr Nabil, echoed the sentiments of other leaders urging for reconciliation and healing. Dr Nabil appealed to all the political forces within Libya to work for a “future that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people and their aspirations for freedom – a peaceful transition to building a democratic political system reflecting the free will of the nation and preserving the independence, unity, security and stability of Libya.