News / Middle East

Libyans Mark Anniversary of Revolution

Libyans Mark Anniversary of Revolutioni
X
February 17, 2014 2:48 PM
Three years ago Monday, opponents of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi declared a “Day of Rage” against his rule. Gadhafi was killed in the civil war that followed, but the nation has found little calm in the years since. VOA's Elizabeth Arrott has more from our Middle East bureau in Cairo.
Elizabeth Arrott
Three years ago Monday, opponents of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi declared a “Day of Rage” against his rule.  Gadhafi was killed in the civil war that followed, but the nation has found little calm in the years since. 
 
The anniversary against long-time Gadhafi gave Libyans an opportunity to take a break from continuing troubles to celebrate a turning point in their nation's history. In the capital Tripoli, revolutionary flags were out in force and the streets cleaned up. Resident Abd Alraof Mohamed is among those hoping for a better future, and said he has been looking forward to the celebrations.

He adds it marks the end of tyrants and humiliation, and that "God willing, the country will now find peace."

It's an optimistic view.

Just last week, retired General Khalifa Haftar, one of the heroes of the uprising, went on television and declared what seemed to be a veiled threat of a coup. He called for Libya's parliament and Cabinet to be dissolved to "rescue" the country from, in his view, turmoil.

Political leaders, aware the Libyan army is so small and in such disarray it had little chance of success even if it backed Khalifa, quickly dismissed the threat and ordered Khalifa's arrest.  

Yet the threat highlights the country's biggest challenge.  Libyans may celebrate the end of Gadhafi's one-man rule, but they have yet to build strong institutions to fill the vacuum he left.
 
The country is divided by regional and tribal affiliations.  Many of its factions are backed by private militias. The central government is mired in a stalemate between nationalists and Islamists - and as critics note -- its mandate has already run out.

Protester Lofti Mosbah argues that by continuing to work beyond its original expiration date, the General National Congress is illegal and is now “manipulating the law.” 
 
Some steps toward normalcy are underway. Libyans will vote Thursday on a special assembly to draft a new constitution, which could be a milestone in this so-far rocky transition.
 
But for some, competing interests were put aside for one day, to mark the fact that the transition got under way at all.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid