Tripoli (AsiaNews) – “Italy and NATO forces should organise a week-long truce out of respect for human life, families and Libya. It is an act of humanity and Libyans are sensitive to such deeds, despite the anger caused by the war,” Mgr Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, apostolic vicar to Tripoli, told AsiaNews. After the death of one of Gaddafi’s sons and three of his grandchildren, the prelate calls on all the nations at war against Libya to stop bombing and killing civilians.
“People are exhausted by the constant explosions and want an end to the hostilities,” he explained. “We must understand the pain caused by a bomb that destroys a house and takes lives.”
Saif Al-Arab Gaddafi was given a state funeral yesterday in Tripoli. The Libyan leader’s youngest son was killed on Saturday in a NATO airstrike against Bab al-Aziziya, Gaddafi’s private fortress.
The ceremony lasted four hours and brought together government officials, relatives and most of the people of the capital. Gaddafi himself was not present for security reasons.
Mgr Martinelli attended the funeral along with delegations representing religious communities present in the country. He slammed those who question the identity of the dead man, something that raises the anger and hatred of the Gaddafi’s family but also of the Libyan people.
“When they invited me to go to the funeral, I accepted because it was an act of compassion,” he said. “I saw the body of the young man; how can anyone say it was a farce.” Trading false accusations is terrible and is generating endless biases towards Libya and Gaddafi.
According to Mgr Martinelli, the Italian government, originally a great friend and backer of the Libyan leader, must change its policy and oppose the bombing. It must start a dialogue with the government to avoid an escalation of hatred and reprisals.
“How can we expect Gaddafi to stand idle,” he said. “It is obvious that he will react by sending thousands of immigrants to Italy because [foreign] governments refuse to talk to him.” (S.C.)