Of Libya, Col. Qadhafi and Libyans

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  1. Serengeti National Park (the great migration), Tanzania
  2. Kruger National Park, South Africa
  3. Pyramids, Giza Egypt
  4. Rift Valley Lakes, Kenya.
  5. Kalahari Desert, Botswana
  6. Karnak Temple, Egypt
  7. Table Mountain, S. A.
  8. Atlas Mountain, Algeria
  9. Djoudj National Park, Senegal
  10. Goree Island, Senegal


Country Focus for March 2011: Libya
Our country focus for March 2011 is on Libya, one of the richest countries in Africa. Libya has a very long history which can be divided into: Ancient Libya - periods before 146 BCE, Roman Libya - 146 BCE to 670 CE, Islamic Tripolitania and Cyrenaica - 670 CE to 1551, Ottoman Libya - 1551 to 1911, Italian colony 1911 to 1934, Italian Libya - 1934 to 1943, Allied Libya - 1943 to 1951, kingdom of Libya - 1951 to 1969 and Libya under Gaddafi Libya 1969 - date. Libya quickly transformed from a poor country to a very rich country with the discovery of crude petroleum and natural gas deposits over 50 years ago

libya, libyan national flag
New Flag of Libya

Of Libya, Col. Muammar Ghaddafi and Libyans.

Libya: Country Facts.

  • Country Name: Great Socialist People's Libyan Jamahiriya
  • Location: Northern Africa. Libya is bordered to the north by the Mediterranean sea, Egypt to the east, Sudan in the south-east, Chad and Niger to the south, Algeria and Tunisia to the west.
  • Size: 1,759,540 sq. km.(679,362 sq. mi.) - 4th largest country in Africa
  • Population: 6,461,454 (July 2010 est. - CIA)
    5,670,688 (2006 census)
  • GDP(ppp): $13,800 (2010 est CIA)
  • Main Export: Crude oil, petroleum products, natural gas
  • Independence: 10 February 1947(relinquished by Italy following WW2 defeat)
    24 December 1951 -(from UN trusteeship as Kingdom of Libya ),
    1 September 1969 (Revolution day)
  • Presidents: King Idris 1951 - 1 Sept; 1969
    Col. Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi 1 Sept; 1969 - present
    • Col. Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi(Moammar Gadhafi, Muammar Gaddafi, Khadafi) came to power in a military coup on 1 Sept; 1969 at the age of 27
    • He suspended the country’s constitution. He came up with his revolutionary "3rd Universal Theory"; an alternative to both communism and capitalism, while maintaining Islam as the state religion but with a unique Libyan approach. His doctrine called "Jamahiriya" meaning "state of the masses" are clearly written in his book -"Green Book". Power is held by various people’s committees with Col. Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi at the head. He holds no tittle.
    • 1973 to 1987 - Qadhafi was in war with Chad over control of the Aozou strip
    • 1977 - He changed the country name to Great Socialist People's Libyan Jamahiriya
    • 1977 - He fought a war with Egypt
    • 1986 - Suspected of complicity in the LaBelle disco bombing in West Berlin of April 6th
    • 1988 - Qadhafi is suspected in the Pan Am flight 103 bombing over Scottish town of Lockerbie killing a total of 270 people
    • 1989 - Suspected in the bombing of french flight UTA 772 of September 19th, over Ténéré, Chad in which all 170 people onboard died
    • 1992 - Libya came under UN sanctions for Pan Am flight 103 bombing
    • 1999 - Handed over 2 suspects in the Lockerbie bombing for Scottish trial and got UN to suspend sanctions
    • 2003 - He took responsibility for the PanAm bombing and went into negotiation to pay compensation and free up Libya from international sanctions
    • 2003 - Qadhafi announced he would abandon development of mass destruction, leading up to UN lifting sanctions on Libya
    • 2006 - Libya was removed from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism
    • 2008 - He paid $1.5b compensation to U.S victims for the Lockerbie, LaBelle disco and UTA 772 bombings
    • 2008 - He successfully negotiated a $5b deal with Italy’s Berlusconi as settlement for colonial era disputes(the first and probably the only African country to successfully reach a colonial settlement deal). Payment of $200m per year is spread over 25 years
    • 2008 - As part of his pet project to create a "United States of Africa", he assembled a group of over 200 African Kings and traditional rulers at Benghazi where he was later crowned the "King of Kings of Africa"
    • 2008 to 2009 - Libya sat at the UN security council as a non-permanent member
    • 2010 - Libya was elected to its first 3 year term at the UN Human Right Council leading to protests from international human right community
  • Libyan Revolution 2011

    • Following successful popular revolts which removed two autocratic leaders in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt between January and February, Libyan people rose to demand democratic reforms and restructuring of their country. Demonstrations started in Libya’s second largest city of Benghazi on 15 February 2011(the same city from which Col. Qadhafi staged his 1969 coup). By February 20; revolts spread to Tripoli, the capital city of Libya. On February 21st; Col. Qadhafi’s son Saif al-Islam Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi appeared on national TV making little concessions and vowing to fight to the last man. This promise he has kept, deploying military troops, African mercinaries with heavy guns supported by helicopters to fire on Libyans. On the other hand, opposition and anti-government protesters bouyed by defectors from the military, former government officials and diplomats who resigned their posts following Qadhafi’s heavy handedness are mounting serious fights gaining control of most of Libya. As at today, the most part of Libya is controlled by the anti-government forces leaving Tripoli and a handful of cities under Qadhafi government controls but the government is re-organising and fighting hard to take back lost areas.

      The UN, US and EU have also placed sanctions on the Qadhafi government with the US secretary of state Hilary Clinton recently joining Libyans to demand Qadhafi leaves. Libyan assets of $30 billion and $2.3 billion have also been frozen by the US and Canada respectively. But in an interview with the media on monday, Gaddafi vowed not to resign claiming his people love him and would die to protect him. He also argued he cannot step down because holds no official government position.

      To keep up pressure on Muammar Gaddafi; the US is sending two warships to the Mediterranean sea via Suez canal by March 1st and Libya is also suspended from the UN Human Right Council, March 2nd. Will Gaddafi give in? Are we going to see another African dictator chased out of office within the first three months of 2011?

    • Updates:

    • 17 March 2011 - UN Security council resolution authorises military actions to create a no-fly-zone over Libya to protect civilians from advancing Gaddafi forces
    • 19 March 2011 - A coalition of France, UK and US jets, submarines and warships launches missiles to take-out Libyan defense instalations to enforce the UN authorised no-fly-zone over Libya. Coalition members also include Italy, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Spain all pledging military assets and UAE, Qatar, Iraq, Jordan and Morocco promising material supports. It is also possible some of these Arab countries may even take part in air strikes on Libyan military targets.
    • 23 August 2011 - Fall of Tripoli. Soldiers loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi fought gallantly holding on to Tripoli for months and even recovered some lost grounds from the largely inexperienced rebel forces. But this was reversed as NATO intensified attacks helping the rebels gain new grounds and eventually took control of Tripoli on August 23rd 2011. Overthroned Gaddafi immidiately went into hiding in his hometown, Sirte. The former rebels went on to form a Transitional National Council (TNC) government headed by Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, he serves as a head of state and Mahmoud Jibril as acting Prime minister.

      Gaddafi resorted to TV and video addresses urging Libyans to resist the TNC whom he accused of collaborating with outsiders(NATO) to distabilize the country. But the TNC vowed they will only declare Libya liberated when Gaddafi has been captured and all parts of Libya freed of Gaddafi loyalists.

    • On Thursday 20 October 2011, Col Muammar Gaddafi was killed in his hometown Sirte as he tried to escape intensified fighting by TNC loyalists. How he died is still a mystery as he was reportedly taken alive from a drainage pipe where he had taken refuge after surviving an attack on his convoy, by NATO warplanes. Cellphone videos shown on TV shows him bleeding and been dragged by NTC soldiers and later videos showed him dead. Flambouyant to death, a golden pistol was said to have been recovered from Col. Muammar Gaddafi. The UN human right office is calling for an investigation into how he died. A BBC News report quotes Mr. Jibril, Prime Minister as saying that as Col Gaddafi was being transported to the hospital the car carrying him "-- was caught in crossfire between the revolutionaries and Gaddafi forces in which he was hit by a bullet in the head". "The forensic doctor could not tell if it came from the revolutionaries or from Gaddafi's forces." According to Mr Jibril, the colonel died just minutes away from hospital
    • 23 October 2011 - Libya is declared Liberated by the Transitional National Council bringing to an end the Gaddafi era.
More facts about Libya:Libya  

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