Libyans celebrated the 12th anniversary of their 2011 revolt against Muammar Gaddafi on Friday. Several cities saw large celebrations, while the capital, Tripoli, saw inhabitants take to the streets to celebrate, with squares decorated with national flags and lights.
Libyan singers and bands performed to enormous crowds in Tripoli’s main square.
As part of the celebrations, a massive military parade was held in the square.
“I congratulate the Libyan people on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of the February 17 revolution, and God willing, we’ll grow from better to better. If God allows it next year we will have a government elected by the entire Libyan people, and Libya will unite and become one state.” Rabie Imran, one of the men celebrating on the streets of Tripoli said.
The anniversary of the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi comes amid the continuing political stalemate and government division, since elections could not be held since December 2021.
The county split into two rival administrations in the chaos the followed the uprising, each backed by different rogue militias and foreign governments.
The UN special envoy for Libya warned at the end of last year that signs of partition are already evident and urged influential nations to pressure Libya’s rival leaders to urgently finalize the constitutional basis for elections.
On February 17, 2011, Libya descended into a series of protests similar to that experienced in many Arab states at the time- the Arab spring. People started their popular uprising that overthrew Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 years of dictatorship but the ouster of Gadhaffi is often remembered by NATO’s involvement.
A coalition including France, Britain and the United States launched the first strikes against Gadhafi’s forces under a United Nations resolution to protect civilians on March 19 2011. NATO assumed control of the air campaign over Libya on March 31.