Wednesday, February 18, 2015

UN Urges Libyans to "Recapture the Spirit" of the Revolution against Gaddafi


TRIPOLI – The UN Special Envoy for Libya, Bernardino Leon, has urged Libyans to recover the objectives and spirit of the revolution that began four years ago and set aside differences to build a new, united and democratic state.

In a letter marking the commemoration on Tuesday of the fourth anniversary of the uprising that ended the dictatorial regime of Muammar Gaddafi, Leon urged the two rival governments to take advantage of the new round of dialogue – scheduled for next week in the oasis town of Ghadames – to put an end to the fratricidal conflict and move toward the formation of a government of national unity.

“Libyans never thought that four years after the revolution they would be fighting among themselves or against terrorist groups that are taking advantage of the chaos and committing heinous crimes,” Leon said, alluding to the civil war and the jihadist group Islamic State, which has taken control of some parts of the country.

In line with this argument, the diplomat said that the two sides agreed that they want a united nation and a political solution as soon as possible to put an end to the bloodshed and suffering.

“It is your opportunity to reach an agreement on security issues for ending the war and achieving the withdrawal of armed groups so that the state can regain control of the vital facilities,” he added.

On Feb. 17, 2011, and in the wake of the revolutions in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt, opposition groups rose up in protest in the city of Benghazi, the second largest in the country.

After months of protests, fighting and reprisals, the revolution triumphed with the intervention of NATO, which bombed the forces of the dictator when they began to regain some lost ground.

Four years later, and with Gaddafi dead, Libya is a failed state, a victim of chaos and civil war, in which two governments, a rebel one in Tripoli and another exiled and internationally recognized in Tobruk, are fighting for power and control of natural resources.


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