Libyans celebrated the first anniversary of the popular uprising that ousted long-time dictator Moammar Gaddafi today, but some of the very militias responsible for toppling the government have turned to terrorizing the population.
The Telegraph reports that men, women and children came out on the streets of Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and elsewhere for spontaneous celebrations, which included slogan-chanting and fireworks. But, the paper said:
Libya’s rulers have not organized any official celebrations at a national level as a mark of respect for the thousands of people killed in the bloody conflict that saw Gaddafi captured and slain on October 20.
The Telegraph also points out that “one year after the uprising, Libya is battling challenges ranging from how to tame the rowdy militias that fought Gaddafi’s forces to establishing a new rule of law in the country.”
According to The Associated Press:
… hundreds of armed militias are the real power on the ground in the country, and the government that took [Moammar Gaddafi’s] place is largely impotent, unable to rein in fighters, rebuild decimated institutions or stop widespread corruption.
In a newly released report, Amnesty International offered this grim conclusion:
The Libyan authorities face a considerable challenge in their efforts to bring under control the numerous militias that have largely taken the law into their own hands and to ensure the the necessary reforms of the judicial system and its effective functioning.