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7 months on, Nato ends Libya mission

world Updated: Nov 01, 2011 00:28 IST

Reuters
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Nato ends its military operation in Libya on Monday, seven months after launching an air and sea campaign that helped bring the overthrow and death of Muammar Gaddafi.

In announcing the decision last week, Nato secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen called it “one of the most successful” operations in the history of the 62-year-old alliance.

Rasmussen will mark the end of the mission by visiting Libya on Monday, where he will meet Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) and members of civil society, the alliance said.

Despite Rasmussen’s depiction of the mission, Nato intervention caused sharp rifts in the alliance and went on much longer than Western nations had expected. Nato stuck to its decision to end the operation despite NTC calls for it to stay engaged longer and says it does not expect to play a major post-war role, although it could assist the transition to democracy by helping with security sector reform.

Nato took over the mission on March 31, based on a UN mandate that set a no-fly zone over Libya and permitted foreign military forces.