Libyan rulers say ready to forgive Gaddafi fighters

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Libya’s new rulers said on Saturday they are ready to forgive the forces of slain dictator Moamer Gaddafi who battled rebels trying to topple his autocratic regime during the brutal revolution. “In Libya we are able to absorb all. Libya is for all,” the National Transitional Council chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said in Tripoli as he launched a national reconciliation conference organised by the NTC.
“Despite what the army of the oppressor did to our cities and our villages, our brothers who fought against the rebels as the army of Gaddafi , we are ready to forgive them,” he said in Arabic remarks that were translated into English by an official. “We are able to forgive and tolerate,” he added. The conference, the first of its kind since the NTC on October 23 declared the total liberation of Libya, was attended by delegates from the major Libyan tribes, as well as from Qatar and Tunisia.
Libya’s new interim Prime Minister Abdel Rahim al-Kib echoed Abdel Jalil. “National reconciliation is an essential condition to build the constitutional institutions of a state,” he told the conference. “The future cannot be built with revenge as a base.” But he said that those who “committed torture, rape, murders and stole public wealth (during the revolution) have to be held accountable.”
“Transitional justice is needed in order to reach reconciliation,” Kib said. The Hague-based International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in June that the court’s investigators had evidence that Gaddafi ordered mass rapes and bought containers of sex drugs for troops to attack women during the revolt against him. Kib announced his government on November 22, just a month after the capture and lynching of Gaddafi who ruled the country with an iron fist for 42 years.