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All is well that ends well

The high drama surrounding  the hijacking of a Libyan Airbus by two hijackers from Libya to Malta ended on a happy note with all 118 passengers/hostages released safe and sound and the hijackers surrendering to the authorities in Malta.

The domestic flight with 118 people on board was hijacked after taking off from Sabha, bound for the Libyan capital Tripoli. Instead, the Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320 was diverted to Malta International Airport.

Hijackers surrender at bottom of plane steps

Film shooting disrupted

A film being shot at Malta airport about a plane hijacking was disrupted amid the real hijacking of the Libyan Airbus A320. The movie – Entebbe – is based on a hostage situation that occurred 40 years ago in Uganda in 1976.”It’s very ironic because then there was the real hijack on”

Hijackers had made no demands.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat initially said that the men had been armed with pistols and a grenade – but later tweeted that the weapons appeared to be replicas. Muscat also said neither of the hijackers had made any demands.He told a press conference: “The two hijackers have been detained in custody and interrogations are ongoing. The rest of the crew and passengers are also being questioned to ascertain events.”

It is now emerging that the two hijackers are supporters of Libya’s late deposed leader, Muammar Gaddafi and pictures of them kneeling with their hands up appear to show that  they were arrested by the authorities in Malta. They are also believed to have plans of starting a political party supporting the late Gaddafi. But who is Gaddafi?

“No country can claim to be the policeman of the world” 

Muammar Gaddafi,ruled Libya from 1969 to 2011 with an iron hand. He  was to Libya what Saddam Hussein was to Iraq. He ruled Libya for more than 4 decades and was an advocate of Pan Africanism. He identified Libya with Africa and separate from the Arab nations.

In 1997, Mandela defied the UN embargo to visit Gaddafi and thank him for his support during the anti-apartheid struggle. When US President Bill Clinton called the visit “unwelcome,” Mandela famously said,

“No country can claim to be the policeman of the world and no state can dictate to another what it should do.”

When Gaddafi  was killed ruthlessly  by a coup in 2011 , Nelson Mandela was one of the few leaders who  condoled his demise, saying- “In the darkest moments of our struggle, when our backs were to the wall, Muammar Gaddafi stood with us.”

Libya has been in a state of chaos since the 2011 overthrow of Gaddafi, who had ruled the country since 1969. His removal left warring militias battling for control of different parts of the country, with so-called Islamic State (IS) taking control of areas. Similar to the war-ravaged state of Iraq. A result of arrogant policing of the world?

-UDAAN

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