DEBKAfile Special Report October 20, 2011, 4:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
Questions swirl around the death outside Sirte Thursday, Oct. 20, of Muammar Qaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years until his overthrow in August 2011:
One theory holds that after his convoy was attacked by NATO warplanes outside Sirte, he was seriously wounded in both legs, released that the game was up, crawled into a nearby pipe and shot himself dead to escape capture. This theory is borne out by the discovery by rebels of a gold-plated pistol near his body . But some TV footage indicates he was shot dead after being abused by rebels.
In the eyes of his loyalists, and there are still many left in Libya, he is admired for dying the death of a hero..
If the bullet or shell that injured or killed him is identified as belonging to a NATO weapon, he may be acclaimed by his own people and the Muslim world as a martyr like Osama bin Laden before him. This would be the pretext for the outbreak of bloody guerrilla warfare between the dead ruler's following and his opponents.
The third theory is that rebel forces found him dying from an attack on the convoy carrying him and his party and made sure of his death by shooting him in the head.
debkafile: Qaddafi's death may end NATO's military campaign in Libya, but it is far from ending the Libyan war. The barbaric treatment of his body in Misrata is a shocking omen of the bloody conflict to come.
debkafile reported earlier Thursday:
Western sources confirm the NTC report that Muammar Qaddafi was captured Thursday, Oct. 20 in or near Sirte. There were initially conflicting reports of his condition. He was said wounded in two legs, according to an NTC official. He now appears to have died of wounds sustained in a NATO air strike against his convoy outside Sirte, one of his last strongholds.
Rebel troops are celebrating the end of the 42-year Libyan ruler.
Earlier Thursday, the NTC claimed to have achieved complete control of the city after long months of siege against fierce resistance.
As long as Qaddafi was at liberty, the interim government was prevented from establishing its legitimacy and a stable administration.
For the rebel forces, Qaddafi's capture or death is a major psychological and political triumph. However, Libya remains bitterly polarized between pro- and anti-Qaddafi factions with scores of rival militias and hundreds of tribes at each other's throats. Qaddafi's demise rather than promoting unity and ending the conflict could trigger wider civil bloodshed
Not the best source of information... but something:
Libya enjoys large natural resources, which Gaddafi utilized to help develop the country.
Under Gaddafi's jamahiriya direct democracy system, the country's literacy rate rose from 10% to 90%,
life expectancy rose from 57 to 77 years,
equal rights were established for women and black people, employment opportunities were established for migrant workers,
and welfare systems were introduced that allowed access to free education, free healthcare, and financial assistance for housing.
The Great Manmade River was also built to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of the country.
In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programs. The country was developed without taking any foreign loans.
As a result, Libya was debt-free under Gaddafi's regime.
Despite his role in developing the country, critics have accused Gaddafi of concentrating a large part of the country's high gross domestic product on his family and his elites, who allegedly amassed vast fortunes. Many of the business enterprises were allegedly controlled by Gaddafi and his family. Despite the regime providing financial assistance for housing, segments of the population continued to live in poverty, particularly in the eastern parts of the country.
When the rising international oil prices began to raise Gaddafi's revenues in the 1970s, Gaddafi spent much of the revenues on arms purchases and on sponsoring his political projects abroad. Gaddafi's relatives adopted lavish lifestyles, including luxurious homes, Hollywood film investments and private parties with American pop stars.
The Economy of Libya was centrally planned and followed Gaddafi's socialist ideals. It benefited greatly from revenues from the petroleum sector, which contributed most export earnings and 30% of its GDP. These oil revenues, combined with a small population and by far Africa's highest Education Index gave Libya the highest nominal GDP per capita in Africa. Between 2000 and 2011, Libya recorded favourable growth rates with an estimated 10.6 percent growth of GDP in 2010, the highest of any state in Africa. Gaddafi had promised "a home for all Libyans" and during his rule, new residential areas rose in empty Saharan regions. Entire populations living in mud-brick caravan towns were moved into modern homes with running water, electricity, and satellite TV. A leaked diplomatic cable describes Libyan economy as "a kleptocracy in which the government – either the al-Gaddafi family itself or its close political allies – has a direct stake in anything worth buying, selling or owning".
At the time Gaddafi died, some of the worst economic conditions were in the eastern parts of the state. The sewage facilities in Banghazi were over 40 years old, and untreated sewage flowed into ground and coast. 97% of urban dwellers have access to "improved sanitation facilities" in Libya, this was 2% points lower than the OECD average, or 21% points above the world average. In the first 15 years of Gaddafi rule, the number of doctors per 1000/citizens increased by seven times, with the number of hospital beds increasing by three times. During Gaddafi's rule, infant mortality rates went from 125 per 1000 live births, about average for Africa at the time, to 15 per 1000, the best rate in Africa. Libyans who could afford it often had to seek medical care in neighboring countries such as Tunisia and Egypt because of lack of decent medical care in Libya.
Libyans have described the Great Manmade River, built under Gaddafi's regime, as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Gaddafi also initiated the Libyan National Telescope Project, costing about 10 million euros.
On 4 March 2008 Gaddafi announced his intention to dissolve the country's existing administrative structure and disburse oil revenue directly to the people. The plan included abolishing all ministries; except those of defence, internal security, and foreign affairs, and departments implementing strategic projects. In 2009, Gaddafi personally told government officials that Libya would soon experience a "new political period" and would have elections for important positions such as minister-level roles and the National Security Advisor position (a Prime Minister equivalent). He also promised to include international monitors to ensure fair elections.