On February 15, 2011, two days before the scheduled ‘Day of Anger', Libyan women relatives of the prisoners of Abu Salim correction center, staged one of their usual protests in Benghazi to demand answers to the disappearance and/or death of their loved ones in this infamous Muammar Gaddafi prison. The notorious prison was a place reserved for activists, political prisoners and other individuals Libya's former strongman deemed detrimental to the ‘Jamahiriya’ system.
Having as its backdrop the Tunis and Egypt overthrow of dictators in the wake of the ‘Arab Spring,’ the Libyan Revolution was unlike any other. The rest as they say is history as Libya descended into an armed revolution, heavily supported by NATO forces from the air.
The ride to democracy has been quite bumpy, though we have had three governments without bloodshed in less than two years. Also against all odds, Libya held a model election in July 2012, which carried with it a message of hope having been won by non-Islamist parties as Asma from@LibyanBentBladi says:
@LibyanBentBladi: Trend setters, that's what we Libyans have always been.Election Results in Libya Break an Islamist Wave http://nyti.ms/Mc1Tk2
Benghazi celebrates the second anniversary of the Libyan revolution. Photo credit: Libyan Youth Movement Facebook page
However, on the second anniversary of the February 17 Revolution as it is now known, the promises of the revolution of turning New Libya into a prosperous democracy have not been achieved. The Libyan government, shunning external aid, has failed to secure the borders and arms stockpiles, making the country the largest smuggling place on earth and Libyans the biggest arms dealers.
Mishandled priorities, the continued shunning of justice and reconciliation and evident gross corruption has put a damper on the euphoria, exacerbating the grievances from various groups and regions.