BENGHAZI: The National Transitional Council on Sunday announced Libya “liberated” at a huge rally in the city of Benghazi, birthplace of the anti-Moamer Qadhafi uprising which erupted eight months ago.
“Declaration of Liberation. Raise your head high. You are a free Libyan,”declared NTC vice chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, as the crowd of tens of thousands echoed his words in unison. “The Libyan people confirm their respect for international law … (their respect for) mutual interests and cooperation with all countries, particularly Libya’s neighbours,” Ghoga said. “We are entering a new phase, one which asks more responsibility from all of us. May long live the revolution. May long live Libya,” he said, three days after the capture and killing of Qadhafi. NTC chairman and Libya’s interim leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil, in another speech to the jubilant crowd in the eastern city’s Kish Square, stressed that Islamic sharia would be the main source of the new Libya’s legislation. “Any law that violates sharia is null and void legally,” he said.
Abdel Jalil thanked NATO for its support of the anti-Qadhafi uprising which started in Benghazi in mid-February and paid tribute to those killed in fighting the old regime. “All the martyrs, civilian and military, were waiting for this moment to join this celebration but they are now in the best place, in heaven,” he said. “This revolution began peacefully to ask for the minimum of legal rights but it was confronted by violence,” he said, referring to the brutal suppression of pro-democracy protests before the outbreak of all-out civil conflict. Abdel Jalil sent a message to anti-regime demonstrators elsewhere in the Arab world. “I hope the Syrian and Yemeni people will achieve their aspirations and win,” he said.