With a 40 year-stranglehold over Libya, Muammar Gaddafi would not prove to be as conciliatory amid the Arab Spring as his counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt. Military capitulation may have led to Mubarak’s ouster, but it would certainly not be the case here. The regime pursued a swift police crackdown, hoping to dispel the protests as President Bouteflika had done in Algeria. The result was a prolonged descent into civil war, with Libya perfectly divided between east and west. The former became the territory of the rebel movement, after its capture of Benghazi provided a stronghold for the cause.
Fighting lasted for eight months, many of which were plagued by stalemates along the stretches of coastal highway that connected the ports of Ajdabiya, Brega, and Ras Lanuf. The city of Misrata was home to excessive use of violence by the military against civilians, and as a rebel pocket within loyalist territory, was cut off from assistance for months.
By summertime, the violence had reached a point which NATO could no longer ignore. Setting a precedent for the Arab Spring, the alliance began enforcing a no-fly zone and providing assistance to the rebels, known as the National Transition Council (NTC). Although this intervention was game changing, a few more month of zero-sum offensives passed before in autumn, anti-Gaddafi forces made extraordinary gains. As of October 1st, they were within striking distance of the capital.
Tripoli’s capture was followed by the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the capture of his son and successor, Saif al-Islam. The crimes perpetrated by their regime during the fighting are vast, including the use of human shields as a military tactic and hiring snipers to prey on by standers. The ICC issued warrants for these two and intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi, who is now in captivity as well.
- Abdullah al-Senussi Captured (11/21/2011) – The family that ruled together falls together as reports come in today that Abdullah al-Senussi was also captured in Sabha, Libya – a day after the arrest of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. Bing, bang, boom – that completes the trifecta of Libyans sought by the ICC. Unfortunately it does not seem either survivor will be touring […]
- Get Him To The Hague! (11/19/2011) – It has been a long, arduous road for embattled son-of-a-dictator Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, but the wanted and reclusive man resurfaced on 19 November 2011 in Sabha, Libya – thanks to the hard work of rebel forces. He appears in the following video incognito, but a hungry audience awaits him showing his face in the International Criminal Court. Libya: get that […]
- Where Are They Now?: Abdullah Senussi (11/14/2011) – Let’s travel back to Libya for a moment. Back to Libya in early 2011. Back before the dictator was dead – or even ousted. Before his son Saif was on the run. Back in those days there was a coup – and after that coup, there were three little indictments. One for papa. One for […]
- Qaddafi is Dead (10/21/2011) – Recently, End Impunity asked the question “Where is Muammar Qaddafi Now?” At the time, no one knew. Today, that question has been answered once and for all. Muammar Qaddafi was shot to death on October 20, 2011 in Sirte. Rumors and video show the ousted dictator alive when captured. His death is lauded the world […]
- Where Are They Now?: Saif al-Islam Qaddafi (10/4/2011) – Some boys want to be just like dad, and some boys don’t. Saif al-Islam Qaddafi was born the second son to Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 1972. He never knew a Libya not under his father’s rule. In earlier days, when the Qaddafi regime knew more tranquil times, the man widely considered heir to the […]