Saturday, February 16, 2013

Libyans Celebrate Revolution Anniversary

Libyans Peacefully Commemorate Second Anniversary, Disappoint those Who Expected Violence

Those who expected or wished that Libya faces a violent day as it commemorates the second anniversary of the February 17 uprising must have been disappointed as none of what they had hoped for or feared has materialised on February 15.

Instead Libyans peacefully and quietly celebrated in all cities by raising millions of the national red, black and green coloured flags and chanted loving songs for Libya and its bright future.

Even those airlines that halted their flights to Libyan international airports must be now feeling embarrassed for doing so which in many ways raised unnecessary tension in the country as much as the British Foreign Office's infamous “specific and imminent threat” statement did in early January.

Such statement was completely contracted when a few days later the British Prime Minister visited downtown Tripoli to chat with old Libyan women who were walking around at the moment.

By Friday midnight, the Libyan government sent a SMS to Libyans praising them for being civilised, peaceful and not resorting to unlawful practices as they democratically and freely expressed their political demands and aired their views.

The government’s SMS said: “to the Libyan people we dedicate the deepest meaning of thanks and gratitude for their support and responsiveness to national security requirements. On our part we promise to continue our job to rebuild Libya.”

Libyan official must have been rather tense as they waited to see how the Libyan masses would act on the day that was marked for starting a new revolution against the current government. But the day ended without any violent incidents throughout the country.

The message indicates deep appreciation on the part of the government and also the people in general for a day of peace, celebrations and tranquility in Libya when many thought it would not happen.

On Friday, rallies were held in Tripoli, Benghazi, Zawia, Misurata, Sebha, Zintan, Darna, Biyda, Tubruq and all cities in the country in commemoration of the second anniversary of the uprising that brought freedom and democracy to the country by ending the oppressive regime of Muammar Gaddafi.

Taking advantage of freedom of expression and free speech, speakers at the rallies in Benghazi and Tripoli demanded the government to uphold the rule of law, get rid of corrupt elements, and speed up the writing of the constitution, justice and the rebuilding of the army and police force.

The speakers in Benghazi also demanded that the current president of the National Congress Mohamed Magharief be removed as well as the Chief of the Staff of the Libyan army General Yousef al-Mangoush who has been accused of hindering the rebuilding of the army.

It has now become clear that the government security plan that was introduced more than four weeks ago is now working well and can indeed bring peace and stability to the country.

This success of Libyan authorities in protecting peace also underlines the exaggeration by foreign media of the security situation in the country.

Libyan NGOs Call for Peaceful Transition On Anniversary of Revolution
14/02/2013 14:34:00

Members and representatives of a number of Libyan civil society organisations located in different places of Libya, united by their joint interest in taking part to the transitional justice process, and having in common the values of peace and dialogue, are calling on all sectors of Libyan society to a peaceful and non-violent commemoration of the second anniversary from the beginning of the February 17 Revolution.

In a statement to the press, they said that having engaged themselves in what they call “the challenging process of transitional justice,” they are fully aware of the importance of the historical moment that Libya is facing, and they are determined to achieve the common objective of accountability, to eventually reach a longstanding peace and reconciliation in the country, despite all problems that we might face.

Being aware that the ends cannot justify any wrong means, but that good and peaceful means prefigure right ends, the NGOs are calling on all individuals, institutions, organisations, and any other actors involved in this important period to commemorate the anniversary in a safe and secure way.

They said that over the latest few weeks many facts have happened, generating a sense of insecurity in the country, which doesn’t help the wellbeing of the nation and is endangering the transition process. Nevertheless, they are confident “that things will change and thanks to the support of all of us we will overcome all the negative aspects and achieve stability and prosperity,” they added.

Moreover, knowing the importance of the role the civil society can play, urging everybody to get involved in the civil and political life of the new Libya, by speaking out their ideas and proposals, respecting the point of view of each other, and promoting a pacific discussion on different
aspects, with mutual respect and appreciation.

In order to achieve the common goals they are inviting everybody to become the change the citizens wish to see in Libya!

The statement has been signed Signed by the following organisations:

BENGHAZI: The Council of Women Support to Participate in decision Making, "Limada Ana" association for women's rights, February 17 Organisation, Libyan Human Rights Organisation.

MISURATA: The Association of Civil Society Organisations.

SABHA: “Ahrar Libya” Organization, “Alkeir” Cultural and Social Organisation , Lawyers Coalition, Libyan Organisation to Monitor Elections, “Wa Ma Tuqaddim” Organization, “Rakaz” Organisation, Southern Libyan Women Union.

TRIPOLI: Libyan Centre for Strategy & Future Studies, Arab Spring Human Rights Organisation, Libyan Youth Forum, Libyan Youth Union, Martyr “Ahmed Krekshi” Organisation for Orphans, National Amazigh Libyan Conference, Phoenix.

ZAWIA: Mother of the Martyrs

Meanwhile No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ) has been working on the Libyan transition since 2011, in the framework of its programme entitled “Supporting Libya’s Democratic Transition through Justice and Accountability.”

The NPWJ is engaging civil society from across the country and an informal Steering Committee, made up of a diverse range of Libyan civil society, has been created.

The role of the informal Steering Committee is to bring their members into the work on transitional justice in Libya and to ensure that the project develops in a way that is beneficial and appropriate for the Libyan context.

The NPWJ has also held a series of meetings and workshops with civil society representatives in Benghazi, Misurata, Tripoli and Sabha to generate discussion on the needs and perceptions within Libya about its transitional justice process.

NPWJ says it stands by its Libyan partners in their statements calling for peaceful demonstrations. “We are committed to continuing to provide support for Libya's transitional justice processes and emerging democracy,” it said.

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