Tripoli has finally fallen, ending the over two decades of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule on the oil rich North African nation, thanks to heavy bombardments by NATO air forces who paved the way for the rebels to have an easy ride towards the capital.
However, confusion surrounds the whereabouts of the Libyan Leader, popularly known as Brother Leader who could not be found at his heavily fortified Bab al-Aziziyah compound with some reports suggesting that the disposed leader could be seeking asylum outside the country, probably in Zimbabwe and others suggesting that he could be hiding in a bunker somewhere within Tripoli.
In a dramatic twist of events, Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam who was reportedly captured by rebels among two of his brother, appeared to his loyal supporters in Tripoli and also to foreign journalists at Rixos Hotel. He claimed that his government is still in control of much of Tripoli, although this report could not be independently confirmed.
Saif al Islam even went to the extent of taking some of the journalists for a drive around the city to the government stronghold district Bab al-Aziziya, where they saw thousands of armed fighters protecting it.
Journalists were told that thousands of volunteers were coming to the capital to protect the government.
Meanwhile, media reports indicate that British ministers are disappointed with the way the International Criminal Court has conducted itself by confirming the arrest of Saif al-Islam up to the extent of saying they are in the process of arranging his extradiction to the Hague when the reports were actually false.
It appears that this respectable institution has its own motives in the conflict and cannot therefore be fully trusted.
And earlier on Wednesday, the embattled leader himself addressed the nation via Libyan radio declaring that “in the fight against aggressors there is only death or victory.”
In the address, Gaddafi has vowed to fight on and warned of “a volcano” to come despite the fact that the rebels have taken over his headquarters.
The toppling of Gaddafi has exposed the hypocrisy of western governments on their intentions to invade Libya with reports that they are now jostling as to who will have control over Libya’s oil resources.
The rebel controlled oil firm AGOCO has threatened to block Brazil, Russia and China for their opposition to the invasion of Libya. While France’s oil company TOTAL is assured that they will control the oil in Libya. France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppe is quoted as saying that victory in Libya will give him “great satisfaction.”
The UK government is also reported to have decided to take control of Libya’s oil facilities as British Petroleum announced plans to resume its operations in the country.
It is yet to be seen in the coming few days as to what events will unfold in Libya although the capture or death of Gaddafi himself could signify a possible end to the bloodshed in the war torn country. There is already a $1.6mn bounty to be paid out to anyone giving information as to the whereabouts of the fugitive leader, dead or alive.
The TNC leader in Libya has however pledged to hold presidential and parliamentary elections within 8 months and the media is now awash with stories about the possible candidates who will have to be elected as Libya’s new leader.