Tripoli, Feb 28 (IANS) The Libyan capital Tripoli, which has about three million people, remains peaceful under the control of Muammar Gaddafi, after the north African country plunged into turmoil.
The massive protests, demanding for an end to the 42-year rule of Gaddafi, broke out Feb 16 in the eastern city of Benghazi and rapidly spread all over the country.
However, hundreds of Gaddafi’s supporters held demonstrations during the weekend in Tripoli’s Green square, backing the leader. “People love Gaddafi,” they shouted. They also slammed some Arab media for “distorting the information”.
Local residents are enjoying coffee and warm sunshine in the roadside coffee bars. “We’re in progress, but it needs time, step-by-step,” Makkhazoo, a retired Libyan diplomat, told Xinhua.
“My life has been disturbed, they told me to stay at home in the evenings,” said a German woman who teaches German language in Tripoli.
Although the city is under heavy guard of the troops loyal to Gaddafi, gunfire can be heard from time to time at night.
Families in Zawiya, in the west of Tripoli, have refused to cooperate with Gaddafi anymore, a cleric said.
However, there was a mass demonstration supporting Gaddafi in nearby al-Harsha, attended by hundreds of people, including women and children.
“We don’t want two Libyas, we want one,” a middle-aged woman yelled.
On the way back to Tripoli, nearly 1,000 pro-Gaddafi supporters, mostly young people, blocked the traffic.
“All people support Gaddafi,” a young man chanted, waving Libyan national flags and Gaddafi’s “Green Book”.
“I don’t like the things that happened in Benghazi, we can’t live without Gaddafi,” said a man holding his baby daughter.
Some Libyans did not want to involve themselves in any kind of struggle.
“I just want to live my life in stability, with or without Gaddafi,” said a driver named Salah.