US Embassy Reopens in Tripoli


With a brass band playing the national anthem, the US reopened its embassy in Tripoli on Thursday. The US had abandoned its embassy in February as the uprising erupted; Muammar el-Gaddafi’s forces ransacked it. Ambassador Gene Cretz had already left last November after being “physically threatened” over his unflattering depiction of Gaddafi in cables published by Wikileaks.

As the US flag was raised, Cretz expressed hopes that Libya’s new government can eliminate the endemic corruption that had infused every aspect of the country’s bureaucracy under Gaddafi. Cretz noted that, about two weeks ago, he had been part of a State Department conference call with some 150 US companies hoping to do business in Libya.

Libya’s New Government’s Struggles and Gains

The ex-rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) has indeed made gains, though its military has yet to win control of two pro-Gaddafi strongholds, the coastal city of Surt (Gaddafi’s birthplace), and Bani Walid, where Gaddafi’s son Saif el-Islam has reportedly been sighted. Libya’s Interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, who is currently at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, said that he anticipates a new government will be announced within ten days.

The ex-rebel forces have gained control of Sabha, which controls access to the main road south to Niger. Sabha is Libya’s largest desert city; several key supporters of the deposed leader have fled from Libya via Sabha. Also, former prime minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi has been captured in Tunisia; he is the most senior member of Gaddafi’s government caught after the long-time Libyan leader’s fall. Al-Mahmoudi was captured near Tunisia’s border with Algeria and will be imprisoned for six months for illegal entry. Tunisia has recognized the NTC and is likely to hand him over to the new Libyan government afterwards.

Algeria has also said that it is preparing to recognize the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government.

Banned Chemical Weapons Found

The NTC reports that banned chemical weapons — 9.5 tons of mustard gas– have been found in Jufra, which is about 435 miles south of Tripoli. Libya was supposed to destroy all such weapons under the terms of a British-engineered agreement in early 2004. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons had thought that Libya had stowed them away in a secret location.

NATO continues its airstrikes and says that “well within” three months it hopes that its mission will have ended. On Thursday, NATO reported that it hit four anti-aircraft guns and a vehicle storage depot as well as missile systems around Surt.

The whereabouts of Gaddafi and his sons Saif el-Islam and Mutassim remain yet unknown.

Previous Care2 Coverage

NYT Redacted Mention of Gaddafi’s Son’s Bisexuality…

War Opens Opportunities For Women in Libya

Gaddafi’s Son Saadi Flees To Niger; Zoo Animals Finally Get…


Photo of a Tripoli military commander by magharebia


K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Lisa Nevares

Dear Eug,
If all that you note about the Libyan government is true then I must ask why did the people revolt? I thought that I was acknowledging questions for our involvement and tried to put forth some reasoning...My reply to you and many others who question U.S. invovlement (as I eluded to in my introductory statement) is what were the reasons for the citizens revolting? I must admit to my ignorance if what I have heard via non-partisan talk radio and various internet articles is completely fabricated...I am not sure if I understand "chew" and "sticking to the classics" - I blog on many different issues here at, I am not "shilling" for any war - only trying to discuss the topic - period.

Dianne Robertson
Dianne Robertson6 years ago

Wonderful. I wish the infant country well.

Ellen Mccabe
Ellen m6 years ago

II knew this was going to happen, and it has..that country is in its infancy and already those that would profit from the inexperience and lack of knowledge or good council are right their trying to exploit for their own greedy benefit..and i suspect the good old USA is right at the front of the pack..
I wonder how many years it will be before we have to help stage a coup there as well to undo what we.create?

Eug F.
Eug F.6 years ago

@ Lisa N. Yes I agree. "Gaddaffi regime atrocities" include but not limited to free healthcare, free edcuation, free housing or at least subsidized, subsidized gasoline, grants to newly weds, Great Man made River project and on and on. Terrible existence for the Libyans. Im sure theyre happy with the CIA backed thugs and NATO both of whom destroyed a beautiful country and killed thousands of civilians.

And really Chew, you should stick to the classics...somehow shilling for the war machine doesnt quite suit you.

Debra M.
Debra G6 years ago

The world, she is a'changin'!

Gloria Morotti
Gloria Morotti6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Sound Mind
Ronald E6 years ago

End of corruption in Libya? If only we could achieve that in DC!

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

It's good to seen this conflict winding down and positive changes coming to the people of Lybia. It will be good when Gadaffi and his sons are found and brought to justice. I think once thaey are capture they should be turn over to the Hague for trial for charges of crimes against humanity.

Patricia AK
Patricia A6 years ago

Glad to hear the U.S. Embassy has reopened. Now some trading can go on.