This week Libyans across the nation came together in celebration of their 2011 uprising. The uprising led to the overthrowing and killing of longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi. After Gadhafi’s death, Libyans appointed an interim government to take over. The new government was tasked with leading the Libyan people through elections expected to happen later this year. Many citizens hope that the elections will help unify the divided nation.
Celebrations in Libya
With the 10th anniversary of the nation’s uprising coming to an end, many across Libya have their eyes on the current government. Celebrations for the anniversary began late on Tuesday in Libya’s capital Tripoli. Many people gathered in Tripoli’s main city square amid tight security tasked with ensuring there was no chaos. Libyans decorated and cleaned major squares and streets in Libya. Banners and photos filled up walls in the streets marking the anniversary.
Elsewhere in the eastern city of Benghazi, a few people gathered holding flags in the city’s square. Not many people turned up to celebrate as a wave of cold weather had hit the country this week. Benghazi was the birthplace of Libya’s 2011 uprising, and the low turnout shocked many in Libya. Meanwhile, in the city of Sabha to the south of Libya, festivities even included fireworks. During the celebrations, the fireworks apparently killed a child and injured some 15 people. Authorities in the region said they would look into the cause of the explosion during the celebrations in the Mansheya neighborhood.
Hostilities end in Libya after U.N.-led talks.
Since the ousting of Gadhafi from power, Libya descended into chaos and became a haven for Islamic militants and armed groups. The violence helped these groups survive on human trafficking and looting thrive and cause great destruction in Libya. The oil-rich North African country additionally got split between two rival administrations due to the violence. Libya, on one side, saw a U.N. -backed but a weak government in Tripoli. On the other Side, Libya saw an eastern-based government-backed by strongman Gen. Khalifa Hifter. Each of the governments received support from foreign governments.
Because the two governments seek to control Libya and its people, devastating bouts of violence broke out. Numerous people have lost their lives and become displaced due to the fighting over the past few years. The months of violence all across the country prompted to U.N. to step in and attempt to end the country’s conflict.
Libyan Interim Government tasked with leading Elections.
After months of dialogue, the talks resulted in a deal to end the hostilities in Libya. The agreement called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces in Libya in three months. Furthermore, the deal also established a Libyan Political Dialogue Forum tasked with appointing an interim government. The interim government is set to lead the country through elections this year.
As things seem to have calmed down in Libya so far, there have been calls from citizens and different rights organizations for the Libyan government to hold those engaged in war crimes and human rights violations responsible for their crimes. Citizens have said that unless authorities bring the violators to justice, then the human rights abuses, chaos, and violence will persist.