Instant view: Dead or alive, this is a game changing moment for Libya

While the news breaks about Gaddafi's capture and/or death, we must remember the implications for the Libyan people.

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Colonel Gaddafi: Rumours of capture and death
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The Commentator
On 20 October 2011 12:16

UPDATE 1330hrs: THIS IMAGE IS NOW CIRCULATING (WARNING: BLOODY IMAGES)

It is being reported that Colonel Gaddafi has been captured or is indeed dead.

Whatever happens after this point, it will be regarded in one way or an unconfirmed other as the point of demise for Muammar Gaddafi.

As our UK Political Editor noted on Twitter, it may be the case that certain Western statesmen are dabbing their brows at the though of Gaddafi appearing in front of the International Criminal Court.

But the future for Libya is not yet certain.

While this is certainly a huge landmark event on the road towards freedom for the North African country, there are numerous challenges afoot.

Firstly, it is incredibly important that the National Transitional Council outstretch a hand of co-operation to former Gaddafi loyalists. This moment marks a prime opportunity to avoid further insurgency in his name. Libyans must all acknowledge the necessity for a drastic halt in the shedding of their blood now – else this internal conflict could rage on for years or even decades.

It will also be incumbent upon NATO forces to truly uphold the language of security council resolution 1973 – that is to say the importance of protecting civilians, even if this means taking the NTC to task over their attacks on Sirte and similar areas.

While this story is still developing and this piece will no doubt be outdated by the end of the day, the core themes remain the same.

Unity and a progressive democratic mindset are crucial for Libya. 

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