LONDON (AFP) – The declaration of liberation in Libya on Sunday marked a “historic victory”, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said, as he urged the country to avoid “retribution and reprisals”.
National Transitional Council (NTC) vice chairman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga announced Libya “liberated”, at a huge rally in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi was launched eight months ago.
“The fall of Sirte, the death of Gaddafi and the declaration of national liberation represent a historic victory for the people of Libya and a decisive moment in their struggle for freedom,” Hague said in a statement.
“We welcome the NTC’s confirmation that they will form an inclusive transitional government and work towards democratic elections.
“The Libyan people now have the chance to work together in a new political process, leading to a pluralistic and open society under the rule of law.
“That opportunity is within their grasp and we urge them to seize it, avoiding retribution and reprisals and ensuring that national reconciliation and reconstruction go hand in hand.
“The work to ensure long term peace and prosperity in Libya is just beginning. We are proud of everything we have done to assist so far, and stand ready to help the Libyan people in the future.
“NATO will continue to enforce United Nations Security Council resolution 1973 for as long as is necessary to protect civilians against the threat of violence from remaining pro-Gaddafi forces.”