Thousands of people in Libya have marked the seventh anniversary of a revolution that led to the fall of longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi but ushered in an era of instability in the country.
Libyans took to the streets of the country’s capital, Tripoli, and other major cities on Saturday to mark the anniversary of the 2011 uprising, which saw the overthrow and death of their ruler.
Crowds gathered in the capital’s Martyrs’ Square, waving Libyan flags and chanting slogans as a tribute to the revolution, with security forces deployed to ensure that the commemoration remained peaceful.
Similar rallies were also held in the eastern city of Benghazi and Misrata in the west. While it removed a dictator, the Libyan revolution did not bring stability to the country. Rival militia groups have since been vying for power, and no effective government has been in place.
A Libyan woman flashes the victory sign while others wave national flags as they attend a celebration marking the seventh anniversary of the Libyan revolution, in Tripoli’s Martyrs Square, on February 17, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
In a televised speech on Saturday, Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj acknowledged his government’s shortcomings and said national reconciliation was a solution to end divisions in Libya and ease the crisis facing the North African country.
“Maybe a regime has ended, but the truth is we have not managed to rid ourselves of a culture that has dominated the minds and behavior of many people, who today are at the forefront of politics and who consider the homeland as booty.—Agencies