Entries in National Transitional Council (4)


Civil War? Libya's New Government Threatened by Militias

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- With the glow of finally getting rid of Col. Moammar Gadhafi having faded, Libya's new regime has new worries: civil war.

Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, who heads the National Transitional Council, said Wednesday that civil war in Libya could occur soon if militia groups -- many armed with weapons the NATO-backed efforts to oust Gadhafi helped them secure -- keep attacking one another.

A major part of the problem is that these militias consisting of thousands of fighters that formed during the eight-month battle to remove Gadhafi have remained in Tripoli, threatening the security of the capital as well as the formation of Libya's new government.

The plan was to have the militias out of the city no later than two weeks ago. Now, there are fears that the ad hoc units have no intention of leaving as fighters are reluctant to give up their firearms in exchange for jobs.

Attempts at creating a national army have also proven unsuccessful as former members of Gadhafi's military and rebel fighters are reluctant to sign up for duty.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gadhafi Buried in Secret Location after Viewing of Body Is Halted

Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images(MISRATA, Libya) -- Moammar Gadhafi was buried Tuesday in an unmarked grave at a secret desert location, five days after he was shot to death outside the Libyan city of Sirte.  Gadhafi's son, Muatassim, and his former army chief were also laid to rest in the same unknown spot.

The burial came after Libya's new government decided Monday to halt the public viewing of Gadhafi's body, which was held in cold storage in the city of Misrata.

According to witnesses, the bodies of Gadhafi, his son and his army chief were turning dark and leaking fluids, and people were administered face masks to kill the stench of rotting flesh.

Gadhafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, was seized last Thursday by rebels who had just overrun his hometown of Sirte.  During his capture, the 69-year-old dictator was roughed up and then killed by a single gunshot to the head.

Under Islamic law, Gadhafi should have been buried 24 hours after his death.  But due to his notoriety and the fact that Libya is now under the control of the National Transitional Council, Gadhafi's body was put on display as proof that he was indeed gone for good.

Four sheiks were on hand to witness Tuesday's burial and then swore on the Quran never to reveal where the unmarked graves are located.  The decision was made after talks with Gadhafi's tribal kinsmen from Sirte about what to do with the three bodies and what compensation would be received in turn broke down.

NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel-Jalil also promised an investigation into Gadhafi's death and raised the possibility that he might have been killed by one of his own men to prevent Gadhafi from turning over names of other former Libyan government officials who could be tried for war crimes.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House: Gadhafi on the Loose Is Slowing Libya's Transition

Salah Malkawi/ Getty Images(MARTHA'S VINEYARD, Mass.) -- The White House believes that Moammar Gadhafi is still in Libya and the fact that he hasn’t been killed, captured, or fled, will make it harder for the rebels to form a transitional government.
White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters on Martha’s Vineyard, “there obviously does continue to be some fighting in parts of Tripoli and other places around the country, but it is evident that there is momentum on the side of the rebels as they continue to make advances and as they continue in their efforts to set up a new government in Libya.”
But Earnest admitted a Gadhafi on the loose is not good for the rebels.

“It is the belief of this administration that the transition would proceed more smoothly if Qaddafi were to turn himself in and were to be held accountable.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Libyan Rebel Forces Loot Gadhafi's Armory, Retreat to Regroup

ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Large numbers of rebel fighters are retreating into Libya's western towns and cities on Tuesday to regroup with weapons looted from Moammar Gadhafi's armory while others continue to clash with the Libyan leader's regime as the battle for Tripoli enters its third day.

Rebels broke into Bab al-Azizya, the main military compound in Tripoli, and reportedly filled several pick-up trucks to the brim with munitions and supplies.  Rebel soldiers told ABC News that they plan to return to their bases then go back to Tripoli to attack Gadhafi's loyalists one more time in an attempt to seal victory.

The retreat is a shift in the situation in Tripoli on Monday when reports indicated that two of Gadhafi's three sons were captured by rebels and the 40-year reign of his regime was crumbling. However, Gadhafi's son and said-to-be successor Said al-Islam appeared on TV Monday, taking journalists on a tour of the areas of the capital still loyal to the regime.

Gadhafi's forces have been pushed into a corner since rebel fighters entered Tripoli on Sunday, with State Department officials estimating that the rebels are in control of 90 percent of Tripoli.

The conflict reportedly entered an extremely bloody phase on Tuesday with violent street fights erupting across Tripoli; hospitals in all the cities and towns around the capital overflowed with casualties, and reports of extensive deaths flooded in.

An emboldened Saif al Islam Gadhafi -- whom Libyan rebels claimed to have captured -- made his unexpected re-appearance to a cheering crowd at Tripoli's Rixos Hotel, where he claimed the Libyan regime will be victorious.

"We are going to win because the people are with us.  That's why we're going to win," Saif al Islam Gadhafi said after turning up early Tuesday morning amongst regime forces at the hotel where dozens of foreign journalists are staying.

"Look at them, look at them," he said referring to Libyans who have flooded the capital.  "In the streets, everywhere."

"We have broken the backbone of the rebels.  It was a trap," he told the BBC.  "We gave them a hard time, so we are winning."

When asked if his father is safe, Saif al Islam laughed and said, "Of course."

His appearance in a white limousine amid a convoy of armored SUVs on the streets of Tripoli conflicts with claims the rebels' National Transitional Council made on Sunday that three of Gadhafi's sons had either been captured or surrendered.

The leadership's spokesman Sadeq al-Kabir had no explanation for his sudden re-appearance and could only say, "This could be all lies."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio