Libyans rejoiced in Martyr’s Square in the capital Tripoli to celebrate the anniversary of the national uprising on Friday which saw the ouster and subsequent death of former leader Muammar Qaddafi.
Families flew flags as they listened to the national anthem in the formerly named Green Square, which used to be Qaddafi’s site for addressing the public.
Instead of the usual celebratory gunfire, rival militants drove by as they honked their horns, a sign of somewhat muted displays of celebrations, as the government has held back from officiating the festivities.
Meanwhile in Benghazi, the cradle of protests and clashes, thousands joined Libya’s prime minister Abderrahim el-Keib top-light the Torch of Freedom, in memory of the fighters who perished in the national battle to end Qaddafi’s 42-year reign.
While Libyans remain hopeful and optimistic for the progressive future, they are still worried about lingering Qaddafi loyalists and the existing rivalry between various tribes that emerged from a power vacuum after the deposed leader’s ousting.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) has been criticized by residents for not dealing with armed factions as fast as it should, which entails the formation of a national army.
They have also faced accusations of ongoing human rights abuse namely the torture of prisoners, as well as the alleged lack of transparency in the expenditure of Libya’s oil revenues.
As the country’s looming elections for a Public National conference is set for the 23rd of June, Libyans continue to urge their current leaders to address such issues in order to move forward in rebuilding the nation.