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Libya's Long, Slow Recovery

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Nearly two years since the overthrow of the dictator Moammar Qaddafi, Libyans are still struggling to return to normal lives. A temporary national assembly just cleared the way for a new constitution to be drafted by the end of this year. Some of the rebel militia groups who banded together to oust Qaddafi have donned uniforms and become members of the police and army of the new government. Other rebel groups have maintained independence, clashing with those who seek unity under rule of law. The economy continues to suffer: Oil production is way down, and tourism has nearly evaporated. But foreign aid has increased, reconstruction in Benghazi has picked up, and Libya is bidding to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament. [37 photos]

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A Libyan artist covers the wall of the compound of slain dictator Moammar Qaddafi with a large mural on December 9, 2012, in Tripoli. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)
A Libyan artist covers the wall of the compound of slain dictator Moammar Qaddafi with a large mural on December 9, 2012, in Tripoli. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images)
Libyan families cool off at the seaside with the onset of summer and high temperatures in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, on June 9, 2013. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images) #
A member of Libyan security forces carries a rose inside his rifle, in Benghazi, on February 16, 2013, as the country marked the second anniversary of the fall of former president Moammar Qaddafi. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon) #
Libyan protesters shout slogans during a demonstration on Algeria Square to demand the removal of arms and the evacuation of unofficial armed groups and the implementation of the General National Congress decision on July 7, 2013 in the Libyan capital Tripoli. (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny) #
A Libyan protester holds a gun during clashes between demonstrators and troops of the Libyan Shield Forces (LSF), a coalition of militias, following a demonstration outside the LSF office in the northern city of Benghazi, on June 8, 2013. (Abdullah Doma/AFP/Getty Images) #
A fishing boat motors past the ruins of Cyrene, a colony of the Greeks of Thera (Santorini) and a principal city in the Hellenic world founded in 630 BC, located in Libya's Green Mountains or Jebel Akhdar, close to present-day Shahat, east of Benghazi, on May 26, 2013. (Abdullah Doma/AFP/Getty Images) #
Former rebel fighters take part in a parade as they graduate as new recruits of Libya's police force in Tripoli, on February 28, 2013. More than 800 former rebels, the first group of recruits to finish their training after the 2011 war that ousted Moammar Qaddafi, graduated on Thursday. (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny) #
Puma-type military vehicles donated by Italy to the Libyan army, at the naval base in Tripoli, on February 6, 2013. (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny) #
Former Libyan foreign intelligence chief Bouzid Dorda leaves the court after a hearing in his trial on June 25, 2013 in Tripoli. The former foreign intelligence chief, the first of Moammar Qaddafi's top officials to face justice, is accused of ordering security forces to use live ammunition against demonstrators in 2011. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images) #
Former spy chief in Moammar Qaddafi's government, Bouzaid Dorda (2nd from right), sits behind bars during a hearing in his trial in Tripoli, on March 26, 2013. (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny) #
A woman reads a verse from the Koran at the grave of her son, who died during the country's revolution that began on February 17, 2011, at a cemetery in Benghazi, on February 17, 2013. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Bulldozers tear down the external wall of Moammar Qaddafi's former compound of Bab al-Azizia, a Libyan landmark, on July 9, 2013 in Tripoli. The massive complex is to be turned into a public park, Tourism Minister Ikram Abdusalam Bash Imam said on July 16, 2013. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images) #
A housekeeper show on January 30, 2013 the bombed out villa of late Libyan dictator Moammar Qaddafi near the airport of the northern Malian city of Timbuktu. The house was used by the Al Qaeda-linked Islamists who had seized the city 10 months ago. It was bombarded by French military planes on January 28 when French-led forces recaptured the city. (Eric Feferberg/AFP/Getty Images) #
Salem Al Mansouri, one of the accused in the killing of Moammar Qaddafi's interior minister Abdel Fattah Younes, sits in the dock during a court hearing in Benghazi, on March 14, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
A Libyan woman flashes V-victory sign at Tahrir Square, during the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi in Benghazi, on February 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon) #
Libyans release lanterns into the air, at Nasr Square, during the second anniversary of the uprising that toppled longtime dictator Moammar Qaddafi in Benghazi, on February, 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon) #
Thousands of Libyans celebrate the second anniversary of the Libyan uprising at Martyrs square, on February 17, 2013 in Tripoli. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images) #
Ali Benmoussa, 19, performs during a local breakdancing competition for youths in Benghazi, on February 28, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Faraj Almgsby, 21, takes part in a game of paintball, which was re-introduced in Benghazi after the ban on it was lifted last year, in Benghazi, on January 20, 2013. Paintball was banned during the rule of former Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Visitors watch as a man sits in the driver's seat of a vintage Mercedes-Benz at the Benghazi classic car show, on July 3, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Cranes operate at the site of the football stadium in Benghazi, on January 19, 2013. Unlike the capital Tripoli, Benghazi, Libya's second-biggest city, has few modern high-rise developments. The development of many construction projects is being promoted as Benghazi bids to regain its former status as the country's business capital and end what local residents see as decades of marginalization. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan arrives at Tunis-Carthage airport on June 12, 2013, in Tunis. Zeidan was on two-day official visit to Tunisia. (Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images) #
Youths from a refugee camp perform during a reception for Libyan National Congress President Mohammed Magarief at the Tawergha refugee camp in Benghazi, on April 13, 2013. Magarief made the visit to discuss the return of the refugees to their homes. The residents of Tawergha town, used as a base by Moammar Qaddafi during the country's 2011 uprising, fled their homes after the revolution, fearing persecution from the victorious rebels. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
A once-inhabitated apartment block, ridden with bullet holes, stands abandoned in the Libyan town of Tawergha, on February 21, 2013. Nearly two years later, the people of Tawergha are still stuck in limbo, homeless and, they say, abandoned by a country that has unfairly branded them as supporters of the fallen Qaddafi. They say they fear persecution, revenge attacks and arbitrary arrest if they return - the legacy of a war that has sharpened divisions in the oil-producing nation and raised fears of reprisals in other former Qaddafi bastions including Sirte and Bani Walid. (Reuters/Marie-Louise Gumuchian) #
A group of men from former Soviet countries sit behind bars during an appeal hearing at Libya's Supreme Military Court in Tripoli, on May 29, 2013. A Libyan military court last year handed down long prison terms to the men accused of serving as mercenaries for ousted leader Moammar Qaddafi in the 2011 conflict. (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny) #
A container of weapons collected by Abdul Basit Haroun, a prominent rebel commander during the 2011 uprising in Libya, from Benghazi residents and militias is being prepared for delivery to Syria at an undisclosed location in Benghazi, on May 26, 2013. Haroun says he is behind some of the biggest shipments of weapons from Libya to Syria, which he delivers on chartered flights to neighboring countries and then smuggles over the border. He says he sends aid and weapons to help Syrians achieve the freedom he fought for during the Libyan revolution. (Reuters/Stringer) #
Men take photographs of fireworks while celebrating the passing of a new political isolation law in Benghazi May 6, 2013. The law forbids senior figures from Moammar Qaddafi's former regime from holding office and public functions. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Residents walk on sand dunes in the Libyan desert oasis town of Ghadames, on April 19, 2013. Ghadames, a small town of around 11,000 people that lies on Libya's western border with Algeria, was a key destination for tourists who came to Libya before its Arab Spring uprising. But since the 2011 war that ousted Qaddafi, the flow of foreign holiday makers has ground to halt, as precarious security still taints Libya's image abroad. (Reuters/Ismail Zitouny) #
Smoke billows from the windows of an Egyptian Coptic church in Benghazi, after gunmen attacked the religious site and started a fire on March 14, 2013. Since the 2011 revolution, Libya's small Christian minority has expressed fears over Islamic extremism, especially with the rise of armed militias enforcing their own law in the absence of central control. (AFP/Getty Images) #
Coptic Egyptian, Sherif Ramsis, 45, during his interview with the Associated Press, speaks with his face partially concealed upon his request, with Christian books that were confiscated behind him, in Benghazi, on February 18 2013. Ramsis introduced himself as a businessman who frequently visits Libya and said that he wanted to spread Christianity in Libya in an interview with the Associated Press from his detention. He was speaking in front of security officials who detained him and who refused to let him speak alone to media. "Everything is God's hand," he said after saying "yes" when asked if the accusations are true. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon) #
A view of a stadium under construction in the southern suburbs of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on March 20, 2013, which will be one of six stadiums players will use if the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations take place in Libya. Libya is pushing hard to host the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, a chance to showcase the footballing prowess of its youth and mark a return to normal times in a country plagued by post-revolutionary unrest. (Mahmud Turkia/AFP/Getty Images) #
A man tidies new graves of British and Italian soldiers who fought in World War II, in Benghazi Military Cemetery, on May 4, 2013. The graves, located at the cemetery built by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), were replaced after they were vandalized by members of an Islamist group on February 24, 2012. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Onlookers gather around the wreckage of a car, which exploded near members of a special forces unit, in Benghazi, on July 3, 2013. At least seven people were wounded when the car bomb exploded at a checkpoint manned by special military forces. Mohammed al-Hajazi, spokesman for the office that oversees security in Benghazi, said. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Men pray over a grave at the funerals for those killed in earlier clashes at the Libya Shield brigade headquarters, in Benghazi, on June 9, 2013. Libya's army will take control of a militia's bases in the eastern city of Benghazi after clashes in which 31 people were killed, an army spokesman said. Fighting broke out at the headquarters of the Libya Shield brigade when protesters demanded the disbanding of the militias, whose continued existence nearly two years after the fall of Moammar Qaddafi is fueling public resentment. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
People stand next to a fire caused by an explosion at an oil pipeline, 18 km (11 miles) south of the city of Ajdabiya, on April 2, 2013. No casualties were reported, and the cause of the blast is as yet unknown. (Reuters/Stringer) #
A boy holds a candle beside the lake during the Carnival Benghazi Capital of Culture 2013 in Benghazi, on April 18, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #
Floating candles illuminate a lake during the Carnival Benghazi Capital of Culture, on April 18, 2013. (Reuters/Esam Al-Fetori) #

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