The Assassination of Gaddafi

The news of the killing of Colonel Gaddafi in the battle to take Sirte marked one more episode in this NATO war in Libya and North Africa.  The killing has all of the hallmarks of a coordinated assassination, synchronised between NATO aircraft and forces on the ground.  The reports are that Gaddafi was attacked when he was attempting to leave Sirte in a convoy.  The convoy was attacked from the air, the National Transitional Council has announced that the war is over but the very nature of this execution guarantees that this uprising will not end soon.

This execution comes one day after the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the United States openly called for the political assassination of Col Gaddafi, the Libyan leader: ‘We hope he can be captured or killed soon.’  This statement guaranteed that although Gaddafi was captured alive he was killed while injured.

The very management of the news of this execution represented efforts to influence the continued political/military struggles within the divided forces.  The hijacking of the body and its transportation to Misrata was one more indication of the internal struggles in the NTC and Libya.

It is still urgent that the African Union and the United Nations work for the demilitarisation of Libya and for the work to organise an inclusive government in Libya.  The execution of Gaddafi comes in a week of heightened military action in parts of Africa, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and the Horn.

This remilitarisation of Africa and new deployment of Africom is a new stage of African politics.

Peace and justice forces must work harder to end wars, plunder and western military interventions in Africa.

Horace Campbell is professor of African-American studies and political science at Syracuse University.  His Web site is <>.  This article was first published by Pambazuka News on 20 October 2011 under a Creative Commons license.  Cf. “Obama disdains not only international law but the rule of law, like his mentor, the sinister Bush. . . .  State terrorism has reasserted itself” (Samir Amin, “Immediate Reaction to the Assassination of Gaddafi,” Pambazuka News, 20 October 2011).

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