Benghazi, Libya has been in the news lately due to the recent hearing of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week. This was due to pending questions wanting answers of the Benghazi attack that led to four Americans killed and others injured at the United States Consulate.
The four Americans who perished were J. Christopher Stevens, U.S. ambassador to Libya, Sean Smith, U.S. Foreign Service Information Officer, Glen Doherty, who worked in embassy security and Tyrone S. Woods, who was also assigned in embassy security. Doherty and Woods were former Navy Seals and were contracted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
But little is known about the recent discovered body of Mansur Rashid Kikhia, who disappeared on December 10, 1993. The well-known ambassador, a Benghazi native, was the Libyan Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1972-1973, the Libyan Ambassador to the United Nations, and a permanent Libyan Representative to the United Nations. Al-Kikhia later became an opposition figure to Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi, and was a human rights activist. Gaddafi was killed October 20, 2011.
Greg McDonald of the Fairfax Times did a story Friday, Jan. 11 called “Father of Vienna resident, missing since 1993, discovered in Libya,” in which he interviewed family members currently living in northern Virginia.
“My family was told by Libyan officials that Gaddafi had my father killed and then kept his body frozen,” Jihan (Kikhia) said. “We were told that was not an uncommon thing for [Gaddafi] to do to political enemies he ordered killed. During the recent revolution, we were told that Gaddafi ordered many frozen bodies destroyed, but my father’s body was discovered by revolutionaries before it could be burned.”
The Libyaherald.com reported the following from one of their articles –
“As one of the country’s most respected officials he managed to retain his position even after the 1969 coup d’état. Having served as Minister of Foreign Affairs for a short period in the early 1970s, Mansur Al-Kikhia was dispatched to New York as the Libyan Representative to the United Nations from 1975 to 1980. But his critical attitude eventually put him at odds with Qaddafi and ultimately prompted his departure. He vanished under mysterious circumstances while in Cairo for an AOHR meeting in December 1993, presumably abducted and brought back to Libya by regime agents. Intelligence reports later stated that the Egyptian secret services might have been involved in the abduction.”
According to reports, Al-Kikhia’s body was buried in Tripoli, Libya in April 2012 and identified on November 15, 2012. A formal funeral was held in Tripoli on December 3, 2012 and Al-Kikhia was buried in his native city of Benghazi on Dec. 3 which his family attended.
“The tyrannical [Kadhafi] regime kidnapped the dissident Mansour Rashid al-Kikhia, killed him, hid his body and did not bury it, showing that the regime was more afraid of him dead than alive,” a Libyan foreign ministry statement said.
The Fairfax Times also reported the 40-day remembrance ceremony for Mansur Kikhia, a Middle East tradition to honor the dead forty days after they are buried, took place on Jan.12 at the Kikhia household which was open to the public The family will continue to find out, as they have done for years, the cause and occurrences in the final years of his death..