The ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was buried at dawn on Tuesday at a secret location in the desert. This ends the macabre wrangle over the former leader’s rotting corpse, which had been on public display for five days.
His son Mutassim and a former aide who were killed by the rebels along with Gaddafi were also buried. The ceremony was attended by four witnesses who swore on the Koran not to reveal the location of the graves, RT's Anissa Naouai reports.
The three senior members of the toppled regime had been captured alive in the takeover of Gaddafi’s hometown, Sirte, on October 20, and apparently summarily executed afterwards. The UN Human Rights office has launched an investigation into the deaths.
The bodies had been then taken to Misrata and stored in a commercial refrigerator. They were put on public display and hundreds of revolutionary fighters flocked to see their dead enemies and take pictures of the corpses. The mocking imitation of a lying in State was cut short on Monday, when the decomposition of the bodies went so far that the stench became overwhelming.
Fighters in Misrata and the National Transitional Council had been arguing over when and where to bury Gaddafi since Thursday. The murky circumstances of Gaddafi’s death and the disgraceful treatment of his body by the winners have drawn criticism from some foreign observers.
“What we saw on all international channels was shocking, hideous, compelling and unexpected. It does not represent Muslim customs, nor the Arab dignity and humanity. The NTC bears the responsibility for that alongside those who actually killed Gaddafi,” Dr. Ayman Salama, Professor of international law earlier told RT.
Others hailed the death of the ousted Libyan leader, saying it marked a new dawn for the country.
Mark Almond, Visiting Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, says much discontent will come the NTC’s way once Libyans realize that getting the country back on track is going to be a long, hard process.
“More people will become nostalgic for Gaddafi’s regime if and when the new regime will not only be able to return the country to the way it was before – minus Gaddafi – but actually if they will not be able to produce the basic living standards that existed under Gaddafi,” Almond predicts.
Muammar Gaddafi has taken many secrets to the grave, from his involvement in financing Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidential campaign or co-operation with American and British intelligence. But these secrets will not perish, believes the professor.
“Ironically, Gaddafi has taken his secrets to his grave but the shadow of dealing with him cast on the reputation of Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy will not go away. Precisely because of this uncertain situation, suspicion will probably only grow,” Almond warns, explaining that after Gaddafi disappeared from the scene, Western leaders who got involved in murky dealings with the colonel will simply “not be able to prove their innocence.”
As for the vast stockpiles of arms that Gaddafi’s army accumulated over the years, including anti-air portable missile launchers, the professor believes that they have not only already infiltrated Egypt, Gaza and other volatile areas but will also end up in the EU, as happened 20 years ago after the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, when criminal groups around Europe got as much additional firepower as they wanted at bargain basement prices.