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Libya to mark upheaval anniversary amid calls for fresh protests

English.news.cn   2013-02-16 23:35:15            

TRIPOLI, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) -- Libya is set to commemorate Sunday the second anniversary of a political upheaval that toppled former leader Muammar Qaddafi, amid fears of fresh violence and calls for demonstrations across the country.

Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zaidan announced that his government has taken a series of measures to contain possible attempts to sow chaos on the anniversary, as angry protesters accuse the new government and the General National Congress (GNC) of failing to rebuild Libya and marginalizing parts of the country.

Earlier this week, Zaidan announced a four-day closure of Libyan borders with Egypt and Tunisia, as well as a suspension of international flights at all airports except Tripoli and Benghazi, during days around the anniversary.

Checkpoints have been set up across Tripoli streets and in the eastern city Benghazi, the cradle of the 2011 unrest.

Lamia Bosedra, a member of the civil society organizations support office, said Libyans felt "frustrated" two years after the upheaval, while the biggest problem facing the new government is decentralization.

Saleh Jaudh, a GNC member, said the decision-making process is easy, but the implementation is difficult, in the face of the existing challenges.

"We all know that many of Libyans suffer from daily life measures, especially people from outside Tripoli, but the process of dismantling the decentralization needs time, because it entails transferring staff and their families from one city to another. Here we're talking about thousands of employees in nearly 200 government institutions," Jaudh said.

Due to the wide spread of weapons at civilians' hands and a loose central control, the new government is still facing huge security challenges, according to the officials. In addition, the government also need to deal with issues including the lack of infrastructure, war-wounded rehabilitation, army rebuilding, illegal immigration, and foreign relationships.

However, progress has been made. Libyan Interior Minister Ashour Shwail has just succeeded in absorbing thousands of militiamen into forces under the umbrella of the interior ministry.

The government is doing well despite the challenges, Jaudh said, adding that the GNC defense committee has prepared a plan to restructure the Libyan army.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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