By CCTV correspondent Jessica Stone
Sunday marked the second anniversary of the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. He was captured and killed by rebels in his hometown of Sirte after an eight-month revolt against his four-decade rule backed by NATO air strikes. In the two years since, Libya has transformed into a shadow of its former self.
Moammar Ghadafi’s Bab al-Azizya compound was once a reminder of oppulance in the midst of struggle. Now, Libyans are trying to create beauty from its ashes.
Two years ago, Ghaddafi was killed in his hometown his palace besieged by riots, gunfire and rebel fighters. Now, it’ll be turned into a public park.
Ikram Bash Imam, Libyan Minister Of Tourism, says, "In the past (Before Gadhafi’s rule) most of the area was already a park. It had been divided and a lot of trees had been removed as well. We are now trying to return the area to what it was before."
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan says, "There are a number of families that came and lived in this place. We are trying to find homes for them or give them rent allowance so they can leave the place."
In the past two years, Libya has been gripped by more turmoil-with rising numbers of young men joining militias to provide some measure of law and order in a nation with no central police force. Some complain the militias answer to no one.
"These militias and Islamists kill innocent people. All this happened because we don’t have a strong government."
Ali Zeidan - an elected leader - told journalists in Tripoli over the weekend that quote "swimming against the current is very hard." In mid-October, he was kidnapped by armed men-likely in retaliation for a U.S. military raid nabbing an alleged al-Qaida member.
Zeidan blames two fellow legislators for the attack. He says, "This bears the hallmarks of an attempted coup dat against legitimacy."
In the face of unrest, Libyan refugees have been piling into boats bound for Europe. The western coalition that led to the toppling of Ghaddafi two years ago is more cautious now in places such as Syria-promising no "boots on the ground," no overt intervention.
US President Barack Obama says, "We’re not considering any open-ended commitment."
In Benghazi - where a U.S. ambassador and three security staff were killed during the uprising - Libyans celebrate their hard-won unity. < (USE Mid of Benghazi Liberation Square slogan (left on screen) reading: (Arabic) "Eastern Libya and Western Libya are one nation".
Khaled Zew, a lawyer and human rights activist, says, "I think that what is happening now, even if it is unsatisfactory, should not lead us to worry, because this is natural after a great revolution where blood has flowed."