By Ebi Kesiena
The people of Libya celebrated the 70th anniversary of their country’s independence on Friday.
Thousands flocked to Martyrs’ Square in the capital Tripoli to enjoy the festivities, protected by a strong security presence.
According to Abdelwahab Bisikri, independence had come only after years of political struggle. The Libyan state came into being in 1951, after decades of Italian colonial rule followed by British and French administration in the aftermath of WWII.
King Idris ruled the country from independence until the Gadhafi regime took over in 1969.
Although, Friday’s festivities were dampened by widespread disappointment over the postponement of presidential elections, which were scheduled to have taken place on the same day. The polls were intended as a step towards restoring stability to Libya after the turmoil that followed Gadhafi’s overthrow in 2011.