NATO is to formally decide on October 26 whether to end its mission over Libya now that Muammar Gaddafi is dead and buried and the country's new leaders have declared the nation ‘liberated’.
The likely decision to end the alliance's patrols over the skies of Libya at the end of the month marks another milestone in what the National Transitional Council (NTC) has pledged will be a road toward democracy and free and fair elections in 2013.
But the deaths of Gaddafi and his son Mo'tassim after both were captured wounded but alive on October 20 and the grisly public display of their decomposing bodies in a Misrata meat locker have made the NTC's Western backers uneasy about Libya's prospects for stable government and respect for the rule of law.
Gaddafi and Mo'tassim were buried in a secret desert location on October 25 to prevent their graves becoming a shrine for any remaining followers in the oil-rich North African state.
Under pressure from Western allies, the NTC promised on Monday to investigate how Gaddafi and his son were killed. Mobile phone footage shows both alive after their capture. The former leader was seen being mocked, beaten and abused before he died, in what NTC officials say was crossfire.