Doha, Qatar, 28 November 2011: Gaddafi: The End Game is a series of three documentaries about the Libyan revolution, premiering on Thursday 8 December 2011 on Al Jazeera English.
Produced and directed by Anne Reevell (Moonbeam Films) and executive produced by Oscar, Emmy and BAFTA winner Jon Blair, Gaddafi: The End Game follows a group of revolutionaries from exile in the UK all the way to Tripoli and tells the inside story of the fall of Gaddafi’s brutal regime from the lips of the insiders, defectors and military advisers who made it happen.
“It’s very rare that you get a ringside seat in history,” says Anne. “I was lucky enough to see a revolution through the eyes of a remarkable group of people.”
The series kicks off with a two-part documentary, The Long Road to Tripoli, which tells the story of 30-year-old Ibrahim El-Mayet and his father Abduladim as they take a convoy of ambulances from the UK across Europe, through Tunisia, and into the Western Mountains of Libya, where they meet up with Abdelbasset Issa, a property developer from Croydon on the outskirts of London, whose group they help arm and train for the final assault on Tripoli. The film provides a unique insight into how Libya’s ad-hoc army of committed amateurs toppled a dictatorship.
Anne also filmed behind-the-scenes with the political leadership in waiting in Tunisia and interviewed Dr Abdurrahim El-Keib, the man who has now become Libya’s Prime Minister, on the night that he heard the news that Tripoli’s rebellion had begun.
Anne says, “When the February 17th uprising began, the Libyan diaspora struggled with what it meant for them and how they should react. Was it a false dawn? Was it safe to openly support it? How far should they go in helping? Was their help welcome? Was their exile about to end and at what cost? I was able to film with a small group of Libyans from the UK and got to know them well. Gradually, as the months passed, their determination that Gaddafi must go transformed them into revolutionaries. This film is the story of that journey, its effect on them and their ideal of being part of building a new country. It tells the story of the revolution and of the people they meet on the way. It’s a story of gathering momentum, change, courage and hope, which follows the main characters all the way to the newly liberated Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli.”
In the third episode, State of Denial, Anne had exclusive access to the key British and Libyan players who planned the war against Gaddafi in London and Libya.
“The disintegration of the Gaddafi regime in Libya surprised and confused the world – not because it happened in the first place, but because Gaddafi’s government remained convinced it could prevail – despite defections, NATO airstrikes and a popular mass uprising,” says Anne.
Using the oral diary of a Tripoli-based insider in almost daily contact with Anne, as well as interviews with the UK prime minister’s senior adviser on Libya and leading figures in Benghazi and Tripoli, State of Denial explores the demise of Gaddafi’s power base and charts the twists and turns of a regime in denial.
It examines the extent of cooperation between the Libyan military and the British even before February 17th’s rebellion, revealing that many of the defectors were, in effect, “sleepers” waiting for their moment to come. “Everyone looks at the pictures of Blair and Gaddafi embracing,” saysAnne. “What they don’t see are the handshakes between military advisers who later work together to bring down the regime.”
The Long Road to Tripoli (part one) screens on Al Jazeera English from 8 December 2011 at the following times GMT: Thursday, 20h00; Friday, 12h00; Saturday, 01h00; Sunday, 06h00; Monday, 20h00; Tuesday, 12h00, Wednesday, 01h00; and Thursday 15 December 2011 at 06h00.
The Long Road to Tripoli (part two) screens on Al Jazeera English from 15 December 2011 at the following times GMT: Thursday, 20h00; Friday, 12h00; Saturday, 01h00; Sunday, 06h00; Monday, 20h00; Tuesday, 12h00, Wednesday, 01h00; and Thursday 22 December 2011 at 06h00.
State of Denial screens on Al Jazeera English from 22 December 2011 at the following times GMT: Thursday, 20h00; Friday, 12h00; Saturday, 01h00; Sunday, 06h00; Monday, 20h00; Tuesday, 12h00, Wednesday, 01h00; and Thursday 29 December 2011 at 06h00.
For more information, visit http://english.aljazeera.net.
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Ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has finally lost the official support of the African Union which had stoutly stood by him throughout the seven months of armed conflict in his country.
Either in Libya, Nigeria, Chad, Egypt or Tunisia, the African nation-state, from its birth, has been in some sort of undeviating inanimate democratic revolution. The reason is that the African state, as a political entity, is yet to have everlasting grip with the African nation, as a community, hence the almost constant schisms and the revolutions. African revolutions occur not because of the African community, which is intact, but the African state, which is unbalanced and unreflective of Africans’ innate democratic feelings
Muammar Gaddafi is on the run for his life which had a ransom of $1.67million, placed on his head by the Libya rebel’s National Transition Council (NTC) led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil. One wonders why the maximum ruler should take such demeaning position in spite of his ‘big mouth’ while the rebellion has lasted. Even few days ago while he admitted that his decision to leave his compound was a ‘tactical move’, but urged his shrinking loyalists to cleanse the streets of the ‘traitors, infidels and rats’, and said he had ‘been out a bit in Tripoli discreetly, without being seen’, he boasted in an audio message.
Libya’s case could be likened to the scenario that took place in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Despite Saddam’s fierce opposition and recalcitrant resistance, he was smothered along with his two sons like cockroaches. While Saddam is dead, the aftermath of the invasion still hunts the Western powers, especially the US, and set the country on an unending civil conflict. The Afghanistan’s case is not different. Will great lessons be learned from these?
Libya under the watchful eyes of Gaddafi , the last six months have been an intransigent enigma for Libyans, the continent of Africa and the world. With thousands of lives lost and property worth millions of dollars destroyed, Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziya palatial compound is now under the firm control of the rebels; the end-game is sure in matters of days. The rebels’ invasion of Tripoli would not have been possible if not for NATO’s continuous air-bombardments. A move African Union went against.
In the new days ahead of Libya, from the examples currently playing out in Iraq, Afghanistan and, recently Egypt, no one is in doubt as to what the situation will be like when the National Transition Council (NTC), finally takes-over the reign of power. But what remains to be known is who and who will be in charge of Libya after Gaddafi. The rebels seem to be united right now. Some of the key men in their camp were formerly for Gaddafi as many more are from different tribes. Where would their loyalty lies when they finally share power among themselves as the black gold and other robust business interests that were under the exclusive control of Maummar Gaddafi are at stake? The conjecture should not also be ruled out that most of the rebel fighters are mercenaries. What happens to them afterward? Who would sponsor the rebuilding of Libya in entirety? Would NATO member nations be united in the reconstruction efforts as they are in the air-bombardment? The case of Afghanistan and Iraq should give the world some notable insights of what is to come in Libya in the unfolding days, weeks or months depending when the vestiges of Gaddafi’s empire are gone.
The rebels are being backed by the Allied power in providing logistics, with few African countries in solidarity, but not the African Union (AU). There are more questions than answers why African Union (AU), the continental body that oversees African nations’ issues had not put its weight behind the NTL government. The continent’s leaders are divided over Gaddafi’s forceful removal from office after 41 years of tyrannical rule; hence the body could not make a supporting statement other than fronting for Gaddafi partly because of his usual generosity in bank-rolling the union’s activities in the good old days . If AU stays mute, would it stops the rebels from forming a legitimate government that shall take Libya from the ruins? If AU stays away from the rebuilding process which is in sight, would it break ties with Libya and the UN? Whatever AU’s position is in the next few days, there will be more unexpected dramatic scenes from Tripoli, being directed by the Western powers.
The popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt appear to have set the stage for a wave of women’s activism in Africa, with a fresh demand for freedom and dignity. Fatma Naib examines this phenomenon for UN Africa Renewal
Several strong explosions have shaken Tripoli early Tuesday as NATO warplanes repeatedly bombed targets around the Libyan capital.
Correspondents on the scene describe it as one of the most intense series of airstrikes since NATO’s air campaign against the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi began. More than a dozen explosions were heard in the first hour of the raids.
A government spokesman reported casualties, but that could not be confirmed.
Britain and France have decided to deploy attack helicopters to join the NATO air campaign. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe Monday said the deployment falls within the United Nations mandate to protect Libyan civilians. He said it will take place as soon as possible.
NATO has about 200 aircraft at its disposal for the operations in Libya, but it has not used any helicopters to conduct its core mission of hitting Gadhafi forces threatening civilians.
A high-ranking U.S. diplomat is on a three-day visit to the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi in what the State Department calls “another signal” of America’s support for the rebels’ Transitional National Council. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman is the most senior U.S. official to visit Libya since the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi began in February.
A State Department statement called the NTC “a legitimate and credible interlocutor for the Libyan people.”
On Sunday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, opened an EU office in Benghazi.
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Today marks the 38th anniversary when King Sobhuza II suspended Swaziland’s independence Constitution and banned the existence of political parties in the country’s political life. Labour unions, students and civil society organisations have planned what they hope to be the mother of all protests to mark the event. Inspired by the events in Tunisia and Egypt Swazis hope to achieve nothing less than the realisation of full democratic rights. The union’s much anticipated protest may however be interrupted by the government’s announcement that the anticipated protest is illegal and “anyone who (goes) ahead with the protests would be “dealt with in accordance with the laws of the country”. Reports of the arrests of union leaders and journalists earlier in the day are but a few of the examples that indicate what the Swazi regime is capable of. It remains to be seen whether the people of Swaziland who have suffered for years at the hands of King Mswati III will finally have the courage to demand their long awaited liberation. It is again not clear what impact this attempt at demanding greater freedoms for the people will have on the politics of Swaziland generally. The jury is still out. Nevertheless, irrespective of how the protests turn out it is encouraging to see that Swazi people have not entirely lost the fighting spirit that recently helped the people of Tunisia and Egypt to remove their own dictators from power.
Swaziland is the last absolute monarchy in Southern Africa. If the country ever experienced some sort of democracy it must have been in the first five years after independence. By 1978 the then king had suspended the independence constitution, dissolved parliament, and had introduced the state of emergency. His argument was that the constitution and political parties were incompatible with Swaziland’s traditional practises and way of life. When the King died his son King Mswati III took over the throne at the age of 18 years and together with his advisors and the mighty royal Dlamini clans has ruled the country without any attempt to change the status quo. In 2005 a new Constitution was approved by Swaziland’s Parliament to end the constitutional crisis created by the suspension of the independence constitution. However, the new Constitution vest powers in the hands of the monarchy, and King Mswati III still retain powers “to dissolve parliament and government, dismiss and appoint members of the judiciary and act as head of both police and army”.
King Mswati III known internationally for his flamboyant lifestyle and a great taste for expensive cars is together with his 13 wives accused of negligently using the public purse to maintain the royal family’s expensive standard of living. This happens in a country with the highest number of poor people and frightening statistics on HIV/AIDS. Without doubt Swaziland’s current situation demands that its people combine efforts in pushing away the frontiers of poverty while demanding greater freedoms from the Swazi regime. It is at times like these that serious questions need to be asked. What have the world done to help Swazi people? While SADC sends delegations to Zimbabwe, Ivory Coast and recently Libya what has it done for Swaziland? SADC recently took a tough stance against Zimbabwe to the annoyance of President Robert Mugabe but its silence on Swaziland has been too loud. One can ask the same questions of the United Nations. There is simply world silence on Swaziland. The world has not only forgotten the plight of Swazi people, it has ignored and turned a blind eye to their situation. South Africa, the region’s economic hub has remained silent as well with only the unions highlighting the plight of Swazi people. South Africa’s painful past demands that it speaks out on what is happening in Swaziland. South Africa cannot fully enjoy its new democratic dispensation if its neighbours worship with impunity undemocratic practises which have no place in the modern era. South Africa and SADC needs to live up to their responsibilities in the region. Swazis have a role to play as it is they who can change their own circumstances. It is through a democratically elected and accountable government that Swazis can have their human dignity restored.