Libya Liberation Begins New Era
Libya Liberation – The interim leaders declared the nation’s freedom Sunday, ushering in a new era after the death of longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi.
“Libyan lands have now been completely liberated,” said Abdul Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of Libya’s National Transitional Council.
Cheering crowds packed a central square in Benghazi Sunday afternoon for a ceremony that leaders said formally marked victory after months of fighting.
“We are now united. We have become brothers in love,” said Mustafa Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council.
He called on Libyans to have “honesty, patience and tolerance” as the nation moves toward reconciliation.
The location of Sunday’s ceremony was significant. Uprisings against Gadhafi’s regime began in Benghazi earlier this year.
Officials urged Libyans to lay down their arms, but not to let down their guard.
“Our people have achieved this freedom by the blood of our brothers, sisters and martyrs. Freedom is great and it’s got a great price. It is costly. So turn your teeth into nails and bite on it very hard. Because preserving it is more difficult than attaining it,” one military official said at the ceremony.
As Libya now faces the arduous task of building a new society after 42 years of Gadhafi’s rule, the NTC said it will hold elections in the coming months.
Mahmoud Jibril, the chairman of the National Transitional Council executive board, put the timetable “within a period of eight months, maximum.”
Libya Liberation To Draft Constitution
The first vote will be for a national Congress that will draft a constitution. After that, parliamentary and presidential elections will be held.
Already, some signs of improvement have emerged.
Jibril said that oil-rich Libya is currently producing about 300,000 barrels per day, up from near zero during the depths of the eight-month Libyan conflict.
The country should be back at its prewar output of 1.6 million barrels of oil per day within 15 months, he said.
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