Libya To Mark End of Revolution Sunday

Posted October 22nd, 2011 at 4:25 pm (UTC-5)
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Libya's provisional leaders have set Sunday as the official end of the uprising that toppled the country's former dictator, Moammar Gadhafi.

The formal end of the revolution, after months of fierce fighting, clears the way for the beginning of a process to hold elections, write a new constitution and form a new government after 42 years of Gadhafi's rule.

National Transitional Council officials said Saturday the main ceremony will take place in Benghazi, the main eastern city that became the hub of the anti-government movement, with celebrations expected throughout the country.

The event will take place three days after Gadhafi was killed near his hometown of Sirte. Cell phone videos show him wounded but alive. However, he was dead by the time he arrived at a local hospital, raising concerns that rebel fighters executed him, or possibly beat him to death.

There have already been international calls for an investigation into Gadhafi's death. The NTC is now trying to determine when and where to bury the former leader, whose body has been on display in a freezer at a butcher shop in the town of Misrata, where opponents joyfully passed by and took pictures.

Also Saturday, interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril said Libya's first election should take place within eight months, with voters choosing members of a national council that will draft a new constitution.

Mr. Jibril has previously said he would resign once Libya was liberated. Reuters news agency quoted him as saying he was resigning on Saturday. Jibril commented from the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

In another development, NATO officials meeting in Brussels Friday agreed to end their mission in Libya. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said alliance members made a preliminary decision to formally end air operation on October 31.

Gadhafi often brutal one-man control of Libya started with a coup in 1969. His rule began to erode when a rebellion began in Benghazi in February, and broke down in August when he fled the capital.