Maha Ellawati and Aimen Eljali
Benghazi/Tripoli, 23 October 2013:
Libyans may have been given today as a public holiday to celebrate the second . . .[restrict]anniversary of the Liberation, but the day has been notable for an almost total lack of festivities in Tripoli and Benghazi.
Organisers put out tables and chairs in Martyrs Square this evening for a party to which no one came. In Benghazi, there were none of the triumphant mass demonstrations that its citizens have mounted in the past. Instead a group of some 30 protestors paraded outside the Tibesti Hotel with placards saying that Libya was still not liberated.
A few districts had banners with similar messages draped across the street. In Tripoli, near the Dahra cemetery, the street banner read: “Libya is not free, Tripoli is under the militias”.
The silent protest against insecurity and the militias continued into this evening. Libyans have never missed an excuse to let off celebratory fireworks, or even an RPG or two if no fireworks are to hand. Certainly tonight however, behind the seafront Sha’ab region of the capital, there was hardy a firework to be heard.