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Libya (Arabic: ??????? L?biy?) is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Libya faces Egypt to the east, Sudan to the south east, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west.Sony VAIO VGN-AW110J/H Battery

As a result of the 2011 Libyan civil war, there are currently two entities claiming to be the de jure government of Libya.[4]The Tripoli-based government ofMuammar Gaddafi refers to the Libyan state as the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.[5][6] It controls most of the western half of the country. Sony VAIO VGN-AW11M/H Battery

The Benghazi-based National Transitional Council uses name of Libya for the Libyan state, but has also on occasion referred to it as the Libyan Republic.[7][8] It is led by Mustafa Abdul Jalil and controls most of the eastern half of the country.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11S/B Battery

With an area of almost 1,800,000 square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa by area, and the 17th largest in the world.[9] The capital, Tripoli, is home to 1.7 million of Libya's 6.4 million people. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan, andCyrenaica.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11XU/Q Battery

Before the outbreak of the civil war (as of 2009), Libya had the highest HDI in Africa and the fourth highest GDP (PPP) per capita in Africa, behind Seychelles, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. These were largely due to its large petroleum reserves and low population.Sony VAIO VGN-AW11Z/B Battery

Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world and the 17th-highest petroleum production.


The name Libya (Listeni/?l?bi?/; Arabic: ?????? L?b(i)y? IPA: [?li?b(i)ja(?)] About this sound listen (help·info); Libyan Arabic: L?bya IPA: [?li?bjæ] About this sound listen(help·info)) was introduced in 1934 forItalian Libya, after the historical name for Northwest Africa, from Greek ????? (Libú?).Sony VAIO VGN-AW120J/H Battery

Italian Libya united the provinces of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica (Barca) and Fezzan under the name, based on earlier use in 1903 by Italian geographer Federico Minutilli,[12] and by the Italian government in its "Regio Decreto di Annessione" (Royal Decree of Annexation) of the Ottoman provinces of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica dating November 5, 1911.Sony VAIO VGN-AW150Y/H Battery

Libya gained independence in 1951 as the United Libyan Kingdom (al-Mamlaka al-Libiyya al-Muttahida), changing its name to the Kingdom of Libya (Arabic:??????? ???????? (al-Mamlaka al-Libiyya) in 1963.[13] Following a coup d'état in 1969, the name of the state was changed to the Libyan Arab Republic (Arabic:????????? ??????? ???????? al-?umh?riyyah al-?Arabiyyah al-L?biyyah).Sony VAIO VGN-AW160J/Q Battery

In 1977 the title of the state was changed to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Arabic: ?????????? ??????? ??????? ??????? ?????????? ??????? al-?am?h?riyyah al-?Arabiyyah al-L?biyyah aš-Ša?biyyah al-Ištir?kiyyah al-?U?m? About this sound listen(help·info)). Jamahiriya (?am?h?riyyah) is an Arabic term generally translated as "state of the masses". Sony VAIO VGN-AW170Y/Q Battery

The term, a neologism coined by Muammar Gaddafi, is intended to be a generic term describing a type of state: a "republic ruled by the masses" or "people's republic". Within the United Nations and the Olympic movement, Libya is known as the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Sony VAIO VGN-AW180Y/Q Battery

The National Transitional Council established in 2011 refers to the state as simply Libya but there is some evidence that in the beginning they also used a term Libyan Republic[7][8] (Arabic: ????????? ???????? al-?umh?riyyah al-L?biyyah).

Tens of thousands of years ago, the Sahara desert, which now covers roughly 90% of Libya, was lush with green vegetation.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190JAH Battery

It was home to lakes, forests, diverse wildlife and a temperate Mediterranean climate. Archaeological evidence indicates that the coastal plain of Ancient Libya was inhabited by Neolithicpeoples from as early as 8000 BC. These peoples were perhaps drawn by the climate, which enabled their culture to grow; Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NAB Battery

the Ancient Libyans were skilled in the domestication of cattle and the cultivation of crops.

Rock paintings and carvings at Wadi Mathendous and the mountainous region of Jebel Acacus are the best sources of information about prehistoric Libya, and the pastoralist culture that settled there. Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NBB Battery

The paintings reveal that the Libyan Sahara contained rivers, grassy plateaus and an abundance of wildlife such as giraffes, elephants and crocodiles.

Pockets of the Berber populations still remain in most of modern Libya. Dispersal in Africa from the Atlantic coast to the Siwa Oasis in Egypt seems to have followed, due to climatic changes which caused increasingdesertification.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190NCB Battery

It is thought that the indigenous Libyan civilization of the Garamantes, based in Germa, originated from this time, or may have done so even earlier when the Sahara was still green. The Garamantes were a Saharan people of Berber origin who used an elaborate underground irrigation system, and founded a kingdom in the Fezzan area of modern-day Libya. Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YAB Battery

They were probably present as tribal people in the Fezzan by 1000 BC, and were a local power in the Sahara between 500 BC and 500 AD. By the time of contact with the Phoenicians, the first of the Semitic civilisations to arrive in Libya from the East, the Lebu, Garamantes, Bebers and other tribes that lived in the Sahara were already well established.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YBB Battery

Phoenician and Greek colonial era

The Phoenicians were the first to establish trading posts in Libya, when the merchants of Tyre (in present-day Lebanon) developed commercial relations with the Berber tribes and made treaties with them to ensure their cooperation in the exploitation of raw materials.Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YCB Battery

By the 5th century BCE, the greatest of the Phoenician colonies, Carthage, had extended its hegemony across much of North Africa, where a distinctive civilization, known as Punic, came into being. Punic settlements on the Libyan coast included Oea (later Tripoli), Libdah (later Leptis Magna) and Sabratha. Sony VAIO VGN-AW190YDB Battery

These cities were in an area that was later called Tripolis, or "Three Cities", from which Libya's modern capital Tripoli takes its name.

In 630 BC, the Ancient Greeks colonized Eastern Libya and founded the city of Cyrene.[19] Within 200 years, four more important Greek cities were established in the area that became known asCyrenaica: Barce (later Al Marj); Sony VAIO VGN-AW220J/B Battery

Euhesperides (later Berenice, present-day Benghazi); Taucheira (later Arsinoe, present-day Tukrah); and Apollonia (later Susah), the port of Cyrene. Together with Cyrene, they were known as the Pentapolis (Five Cities). Cyrene became one of the greatest intellectual and artistic centers of the Greek world, and was famous for its medical school, learned academies, and architecture. Sony VAIO VGN-AW230J/H Battery

The Greeks of the Pentapolis resisted encroachments by the Egyptians from the East, as well as by the Carthaginians from the West, but in 525 BC the Persian army ofCambyses II overran Cyrenaica, which for the next two centuries remained under Persian or Egyptian rule. Sony VAIO VGN-AW235J/B Battery

Alexander the Great was greeted by the Greeks when he entered Cyrenaica in 331 BC, and Eastern Libya again fell under the control of the Greeks, this time as part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. Later, a federation of the Pentapolis was formed that was customarily ruled by a king drawn from the Ptolemaic royal house.Sony VAIO VGN-AW290JFQ Battery

Roman era

After the fall of Carthage the Romans did not occupy immediately Tripolitania (the region around Tripoli), but left it under control of the kings of Numidia, until the coastal cities asked and obtained its protection.[20] Ptolemy Apion, the last Greek ruler, bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome, which formally annexed the region in 74 BC and joined it to Crete as a Roman province.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF Battery

During the Roman civil wars Tripolitania (still not formally annexed) and Cyrenaica sustained Pompey and Marc Antonyagainst respectively Caesar and Octavian.[20][21] The Romans completed the conquest of the region under Augustus, occupying northern Fezzan ("Fasania") withCornelius Balbus Minor.[Sony VAIO VGN-AW41JF/H Battery

As part of the Africa Nova province, Tripolitania was prosperous,[20] and reached a golden age in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, when the city of Leptis Magna, home to the Severian dynasty, was at its height.Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF Battery

On the other side, Cyrenaica's first Christian communities were established by the time of theEmperor Claudius[21] but was heavily devastated during the Kitos War,[23] and, although repopulated by Trajan with military colonies,[23] from then started its decadence.[Sony VAIO VGN-AW41MF/H Battery]

Anyway, for more than 400 years Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were part of a cosmopolitan state whose citizens shared a common language, legal system, and Roman identity. Roman ruins like those of Leptis Magna and Sabratha, extant in present-day Libya, attest to the vitality of the region, Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH Battery

where populous cities and even smaller towns enjoyed the amenities of urban life—the forum, markets, public entertainments, and baths—found in every corner of the Roman Empire. Merchants and artisans from many parts of the Roman world established themselves in North Africa,Sony VAIO VGN-AW41XH/Q Battery

but the character of the cities of Tripolitania remained decidedly Punic and, in Cyrenaica, Greek. Tripolitania was a major exporter of olive oil,[24] as well as a centre for the trade of ivory and wild animals[24] conveyed to the coast by the Garamantes, while Cyrenaica remained an important source of wines, drugs, and horses. Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF Battery

The bulk of the population in the countryside consisted of Berber farmers, who in the west were thoroughly "romanized" in language and customs.[25] Until the 10th century the African Romance remained in use in some Tripolitanian areas, mainly near the Tunisian border.[26]Sony VAIO VGN-AW41ZF/B Battery

The decline of the Roman Empire saw the classical cities fall into ruin, a process hastened by the Vandals' destructive sweep though North Africa in the 5th century. The region's prosperity had shrunk under Vandal domination, and the old Roman political and social order, disrupted by the Vandals, could not be restored. Sony VAIO VGN-AW50DB/H Battery

In outlying areas neglected by the Vandals, the inhabitants had sought the protection of tribal chieftains and, having grown accustomed to their autonomy, resisted reassimilation into the imperial system.

When the Empire returned (now as East Romans) as part of Justinian's reconquests of the 6th century,Sony VAIO VGN-AW51JGB Battery

efforts were made to strengthen the old cities, but it was only a last gasp before they collapsed into disuse. Cyrenaica, which had remained an outpost of the Byzantine Empire during the Vandal period, also took on the characteristics of an armed camp. Unpopular Byzantine governors imposed burdensome taxation to meet military costs,Sony VAIO VGN-AW52JGB Battery

while the towns and public services—including the water system—were left to decay. Byzantine rule in Africa did prolong the Roman ideal of imperial unity there for another century and a half however, and prevented the ascendancy of the Berber nomads in the coastal region.Sony VAIO VGN-AW53FB Battery

By the beginning of the 7th century, Byzantine control over the region was weak, Berber rebellions were becoming more frequent, and there was little to oppose Muslim invasion.

Arab Islamic rule 642–1551

Tenuous Byzantine control over Libya was restricted to a few poorly defended coastal strongholds, Sony VAIO VGN-AW70B/Q Battery

and as such, the Arab horsemen who first crossed into the Pentapolis of Cyrenaica in September 642 AD encountered little resistance. Under the command of 'Amr ibn al-'As, the armies of Islam conquered Cyrenaica, and renamed the Pentapolis, Barqa.Sony VAIO VGN-AW71JB Battery

They took also Tripoli, but after destroying the Roman walls of the city and getting a tribute they withdrew.[27] In 647 an army of 40,000 Arabs, led by Abdullah ibn Saad, the foster-brother of Caliph Uthman, penetrated deep into Western Libya and took Tripoli from the Byzantines definitively.Sony VAIO VGN-AW72JB Battery

From Barqa, the Fezzan (Libya's Southern region) was conquered by Uqba ibn Nafi in 663 and Berber resistance was overcome. During the following centuries Libya came under the rule of several Islamic dynasties, under various levels of autonomy from Ummayad, Abbasid and Fatimid caliphates of the time. Sony VAIO VGN-AW73FB Battery

Arab rule was easily imposed in the coastal farming areas and on the towns, which prospered again under Arab patronage. Townsmen valued the security that permitted them to practice their commerce and trade in peace, while the punicized farmers recognized their affinity with the Semitic Arabs to whom they looked to protect their lands. Sony VAIO VGN-AW80NS Battery

In Cyrenaica, Monophysite adherents of the Coptic Church had welcomed the Muslim Arabs as liberators from Byzantine oppression. The Berber tribes of the hinterland accepted Islam, however they resisted Arab political rule.Sony VAIO VGN-AW80S Battery

For the next several decades, Libya was under the purview of the Ummayad Caliph of Damascus until the Abbasids overthrew the Ummayads in 750, and Libya came under the rule of Baghdad. When Caliph Harun al-Rashid appointed Ibrahim ibn al-Aghlab as his governor of Ifriqiya in 800, Libya enjoyed considerable local autonomy under the Aghlabid dynasty. Sony VAIO VGN-AW80US Battery

The Aghlabids were amongst the most attentive Islamic rulers of Libya; they brought about a measure of order to the region, and restored Roman irrigation systems, which brought prosperity to the area from the agricultural surplus. By the end of the 9th century,Sony VAIO VGN-AW81DS Battery

the Shiite Fatimids controlled Western Libya from their capital in Mahdia, before they ruled the entire region from their new capital of Cairo in 972 and appointed Bologhine ibn Ziri as governor. During Fatimid rule, Tripoli thrived on the trade in slaves and gold brought from the Sudan and on the sale of wool, Sony VAIO VGN-AW81JS Battery

leather, and salt shipped from its docks to Italy in exchange for wood and iron goods. Ibn Ziri's Berber Zirid Dynasty ultimately broke away from the Shiite Fatimids, and recognised the Sunni Abbasids of Baghdad as rightful Caliphs. In retaliation, the Fatimids brought about the migration of as many as 200,000 families from two Bedouin tribes, Sony VAIO VGN-AW81YS Battery

the Banu Sulaym and Banu Hilal to North Africa—this act completely altered the fabric of Libyan cities, and cemented the cultural and linguistic Arabisation of the region.[20]Ibn Khaldun noted that the lands ravaged by Banu Hilal invaders had become completely arid desert.Sony VAIO VGN-AW82DS Battery

After the subsequent social unrest during Zirid rule, the coast of Libya was weakened and invaded by the Normans of Sicily.[29] It was not until 1174 that theAyyubid Sharaf al-Din Qaraqush reconquered Tripoli from European rule with an army of Turks and Bedouins. Sony VAIO VGN-AW82JS Battery

Afterward, a viceroy from the Almohads, Muhammad ibn Abu Hafs, ruled Libya from 1207 to 1221 before the later establishment of a Tunisian Hafsid dynasty[29] independent from the Almohads. The Hafsids ruled Tripolitania for nearly 300 years, and established significant trade with the city-states of Europe. Sony VAIO VGN-AW82YS Battery

Hafsid rulers also encouraged art, literature, architecture and scholarship. Ahmad Zarruq was one of the most famous Islamic scholars to settle in Libya, and did so during this time. By the 16th century however, the Hafsids became increasingly caught up in the power struggle between Spain and the Ottoman Empire.Sony VAIO VGN-AW83FS Battery

After a successful invasion of Tripoli byHabsburg Spain in 1510,[29] and its handover to the Knights of St. John, the Ottoman admiral Sinan Pasha finally took control of Libya in 1551.[29]

Ottoman regency 1551–1911

After a successful invasion by the Habsburgs of Spain in the early 16th century, Charles V entrusted its defense to the Knights of St. John in Malta.Sony VAIO VGN-AW83GS Battery

Lured by the piracy that spread through the Maghreb coastline, adventurers such as Barbarossa and his successors consolidated Ottoman control in the central Maghreb. The Ottoman Turks conquered Tripoli in 1551 under the command of Sinan Pasha. In the next year his successor Turgut Reis was named the Bey of Tripoli and later Pasha of Tripoli in 1556. Sony VAIO VGN-AW83HS Battery

As Pasha, he adorned and built up Tripoli, making it one of the most impressive cities along the North African coast.[30] By 1565, administrative authority as regent in Tripoli was vested in a pasha appointed directly by the sultan in Constantinople. Sony VAIO VGN-AW90NS Battery

In the 1580s, the rulers of Fezzan gave their allegiance to the sultan, and although Ottoman authority was absent in Cyrenaica, a beywas stationed in Benghazi late in the next century to act as agent of the government in Tripoli.[21]

In time, real power came to rest with the pasha’s corps of janissaries, a self-governing military guild, and in time the pasha’s role was reduced to that of ceremonial head of state.Sony VAIO VGN-AW90S Battery

Mutinies and coups were frequent, and in 1611 the deys staged a coup against the pasha, and Dey Sulayman Safar was appointed as head of government. For the next hundred years, a series of deys effectively ruled Tripolitania, some for only a few weeks, and at various times the dey was also pasha-regent. Sony VAIO VGN-AW90US Battery

The regency governed by the dey was autonomous in internal affairs and, although dependent on the sultan for fresh recruits to the corps of janissaries, his government was left to pursue a virtually independent foreign policy as well.Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CDS Battery

The two most important Deys were Mehmed Saqizli (r. 1631–49) and Osman Saqizli (r. 1649–72), both also Pasha, who ruled effectively the region.[31] The latter conquered also Cyrenaica.

Tripoli was the only city of size in Ottoman Libya (then known as Tripolitania Eyalet) at the end of the 17th century and had a population of about 30,000. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CJS Battery

The bulk of its residents were Moors, as city-dwelling Arabs were then known. Several hundred Turks and renegades formed a governing elite, a large portion of which were kouloughlis (lit. sons of servants—offspring of Turkish soldiers and Arab women); they identified with local interests and were respected by locals. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91CYS Battery

Jews and Moriscos were active as merchants and craftsmen and a small number of European traders also frequented the city. European slaves and large numbers of enslaved blacks transported from Sudan were also a feature of everyday life in Tripoli. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91DS Battery

In 1551, Turgut Reis enslaved almost the entire population of the Maltese island of Gozo, some 6,300 people, sending them to Libya.[32] The most pronounced slavery activity involved the enslavement of black Africans who were brought via trans-Saharan trade routes. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91JS Battery

Even though the slave trade was officially abolished in Tripoli in 1853, in practice it continued until the 1890s.

Lacking direction from the Ottoman government, Tripoli lapsed into a period of military anarchy during which coup followed coup and few deys survived in office more than a year. Sony VAIO VGN-AW91YS Battery

One such coup was led by Turkish officer Ahmed Karamanli.[31] The Karamanlis ruled from 1711 until 1835 mainly in Tripolitania, but had influence in Cyrenaica and Fezzan as well by the mid 18th century. Ahmed was a Janissary and popular cavalry officer.[31]He murdered the Ottoman Dey of Tripolitania and seized the throne in 1711.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CDS Battery

After persuading Sultan Ahmed III to recognize him as governor, Ahmed established himself as pasha and made his post hereditary. Though Tripolitania continued to pay nominal tribute to the Ottoman padishah, it otherwise acted as an independent kingdom.Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CJS Battery

Ahmed greatly expanded his city's economy, particularly through the employment of corsairs (pirates) on crucial Mediterranean shipping routes; nations that wished to protect their ships from the corsairs were forced to pay tribute to the pasha. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92CYS Battery

Ahmad's successors proved to be less capable than himself, however, the region's delicate balance of power allowed the Karamanli to survive several dynastic crises without invasion. The Libyan Civil War of 1791–1795 occurred in those years. In 1793, Turkish officer Ali Benghul deposed Hamet Karamanli and briefly restored Tripolitania to Ottoman rule. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92DS Battery

However, Hamet's brother Yusuf(r. 1795–1832) reestablished Tripolitania's independence.

In the early 19th century war broke out between the United States and Tripolitania, and a series of battles ensued in what came to be known as the Barbary Wars. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92JS Battery

By 1819, the various treaties of the Napoleonic Wars had forced the Barbary states to give up piracy almost entirely, and Tripolitania's economy began to crumble. As Yusuf weakened, factions sprung up around his three sons; though Yusuf abdicated in 1832 in favor of his son Ali II, civil war soon resulted. Sony VAIO VGN-AW92YS Battery

Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II sent in troops ostensibly to restore order, but instead deposed and exiled Ali II, marking the end of both the Karamanli dynasty and an independent Tripolitania.[34] Anyway, order was not recovered easily, and the revolt of the Lybian under Abd-El-Gelil and Gûma ben Khalifa lasted until the death of the latter in 1858.[Sony VAIO VGN-AW93FS Battery

The second period of direct Ottoman rule saw administrative changes, and what seemed as greater order in the governance of the three provinces of Libya. In general however, 19th century Ottoman rule was characterised by corruption, revolt and repression.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93GS Battery

The region of Libya in particular became a backwater province in a decaying empire that had been dubbed the "sick man of Europe". It would not be long before the Scramble for Africa and European colonial interests set their eyes on the marginal Turkish provinces of Libya. Sony VAIO VGN-AW93HS Battery

Reunification came about through the unlikely route of an invasion (Italo-Turkish War, 1911–1912) and occupation starting from 1911 when Italy simultaneously turned the three regions into colonies.[35]

Italian colonial era and World War II 1911–1951

From 1912 to 1927, the territory of Libya was known as Italian North Africa.Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZFS Battery

From 1927 to 1934, the territory was split into two colonies, Italian Cyrenaica and Italian Tripolitania, run by Italian governors. Some 150,000 Italians settled in Libya, constituting roughly 20% of the total population.[36]

In 1934, Italy adopted the name "Libya" (used by the Greeks for all of North Africa, except Egypt) as the official name of the colony (made up of the three provinces of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan).Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZGS Battery

Idris al-Mahdi as-Senussi (later King Idris I), Emir of Cyrenaica, led Libyan resistance to Italian occupation between the two world wars. Ilan Pappé estimates that between 1928 and 1932 the Italian military "killed half the Bedouin population (directly or through disease and starvation in camps)."Sony VAIO VGN-AW93ZHS Battery

Italian historian Gentile sets to about fifty thousands the number of victims of the repression.[38]

From 1943 to 1951, Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were under British administration, while the French controlled Fezzan. In 1944, Idris returned from exile in Cairo but declined to resume permanent residence in Cyrenaica until the removal of some aspects of foreign control in 1947. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11EN Battery

Under the terms of the 1947 peace treaty with the Allies, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya.[

Independence and the Kingdom of Libya 1951–1969

On November 21, 1949, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution stating that Libya should become independent before January 1, 1952. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11MN Battery

Idris represented Libya in the subsequent UN negotiations. On December 24, 1951, Libya declared its independence as the United Kingdom of Libya, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris, Libya's first and only monarch.

1951 also saw the enactment of the Libyan Constitution. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ11XN Battery

The Libyan National Assembly drafted the Constitution and passed a resolution accepting it in a meeting held in the city of Benghazi on Sunday, 6th Muharram, Hegiras 1371: October 7, 1951. Mohamed Abulas’ad El-Alem, President of the National Assembly and the two Vice-Presidents of the National Assembly,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12VN Battery

Omar Faiek Shennib and Abu Baker Ahmed Abu Baker executed and submitted the Constitution to King Idris following which it was published in the Official Gazette of Libya.

The enactment of the Libyan Constitution was significant in that it was the first piece of legislation to formally entrench the rights of Libyan citizens following the post-war creation of the Libyan nation state. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ12XN Battery

Following on from the intense UN debates during which Idris had argued that the creation of a single Libyan state would be of benefit to the regions of Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica, the Libyan government was keen to formulate a constitution which contained many of the entrenched rights common to European and North American nation states.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31VT Battery

Thus, not creating a secular state - Article 5 proclaims Islam the religion of the State - the Libyan Constitution did formally set out rights such as equality before the law as well as equal civil and political rights, equal opportunities, and an equal responsibility for public duties and obligations,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ31XT Battery

"without distinction of religion, belief, race, language, wealth, kinship or political or social opinions" (Article 11).

The discovery of significant oil reserves in 1959 and the subsequent income from petroleum sales enabled one of the world's poorest nations to establish an extremely wealthy state. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560 Battery

Although oil drastically improved the Libyan government's finances, resentment among some factions began to build over the increased concentration of the nation's wealth in the hands of King Idris. This discontent mounted with the rise of Nasserism and Arab nationalism throughout North Africa and the Middle East,Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N24 Battery

so while the continued presence of Americans, Italians and British in Libya aided in the increased levels of wealth and tourism following WWII, it was seen by some as a threat.

During this period, Britain was involved in extensive engineering projects in Libya and was also the country's biggest supplier of arms. The United States also maintained the large Wheelus Air Base in Libya.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560N30 Battery

Libya under Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi 1969–present

On 1 September 1969, a small group of military officers led by the 27 year old army officer Muammar Gaddafi staged a coup d'état against King Idris, launching the Libyan Revolution.[40] Gaddafi has since then been referred to as the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution" in government statements and the official Libyan press.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P Battery

On the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad in 1973, Gaddafi delivered a "Five-Point Address".[42] He announced the suspension of all existing laws and the implementation of Sharia. He said that the country would be purged of the "politically sick". A "people's militia" would "protect the revolution". There would be an administrative revolution, and a cultural revolution.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P20 Battery

Gaddafi set up an extensive surveillance system. 10 to 20 percent of Libyans work in surveillance for the Revolutionary committees. The surveillance takes place in government, in factories, and in the education sector.[42] Gaddafi executed dissidents publicly and the executions were often rebroadcast on state television channels.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P22 Battery

Gaddafi employed his network of diplomats and recruits to assassinate dozens of critical refugees around the world. Amnesty International listed at least 25 assassinations between 1980 and 1987.

In 1977, Libya officially became the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P28 Battery

Later that same year, Gaddafi ordered an artillery strike on Egypt in retaliation against Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's intent to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Sadat's forces triumphed easily in a four-day border war that came to be known as the Libyan-Egyptian War, leaving over 400 Libyans dead and Gaddafi's armored divisions in disarray.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P30 Battery

In February 1977, Libya started delivering military supplies to Goukouni Oueddei and the People's Armed Forces in Chad. The Chadian–Libyan conflict began in earnest when Libya's support of rebel forces in northern Chad escalated into an invasion.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ560P34 Battery

Hundreds of Libyans lost their lives in the war against Tanzania, when Gaddafi tried to save his friend Idi Amin. Gaddafi financed various other groups from anti-nuclear movements to Australian trade unions.

The eastern parts of the country become impoverished under Gaddafi's economic theories.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561 Battery

Much of the country’s income from oil, which soared in the 1970s, was spent on arms purchases and on sponsoring dozens of paramilitaries and terrorist groups around the world. An airstrike failed to kill Gaddafi in 1986. Libya was finally put under United Nations sanctions after the bombing of a commercial flight killed hundreds of travelers.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561N20 Battery

Gaddafi assumed the honorific title of "King of Kings of Africa" in 2008 as part of his campaign for a United States of Africa.[51] By the early 2010s, in addition to attempting to assume a leadership role in the African Union, Libya was also viewed as having formed closer ties with Italy, one of its former colonial rulers, than any other country in the European Union.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ561P20 Battery

2011 civil war and coalition intervention

After popular movements overturned the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, its immediate neighbours to the west and east, Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning on February 17, 2011.  By 20 February, the unrest had spread to Tripoli. Sony VAIO VGN-BZ562P Battery

In the early hours of 21 February 2011, Saif al-Islam Muammar Al-Gaddafi, oldest son of Muammar Gaddafi, spoke on Libyan television of his fears that the country would fragment and be replaced by "15 Islamic fundamentalist emirates" if the uprising engulfed the entire state.Sony VAIO VGN-BZ563P Battery

He warned that the country's economic wealth and recent prosperity was at risk, admitted that "mistakes had been made" in quelling recent protests and announced that a constitutional convention would begin on 23 February. Shortly after this speech, Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAFS Battery

the Libyan Ambassador to India announced on BBC Radio 5 live that he had resigned in protest at the "massacre" of protesters.

Gaddafi appeared on Libyan state TV to deny the rumors that he had fled Libya, which had been voiced by the United Kingdom's foreign minister, William Hague. Gaddafi said,Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAHS Battery

"I want to show that I'm in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Do not believe the (TV) channels belonging to stray dogs."[55] His government has also portrayed the recent rebellion as being engineered by Western elements and Israel, and has been suspected of manipulating the Libyan news media through planted reports in newspapers and television.Sony VAIO VGN-BZAANS Battery

Two Libyan Air Force colonels flew their Mirage F1D jets to Malta and defected, claiming they refused orders to bomb protesters.[57][58] The military of Russia claims it cannot verify a single airstrike against protesters has taken place since the unrest began.Sony VAIO VGN-BZAAPS Battery

As of early March 2011, much of Libya has tipped out of Gaddafi's control, coming under the aegis of a coalition of opposition forces, including soldiers who decided to support the rebels. Pro-Gaddafi forces have been able to militarily respond to rebel pushes in Western Libya and launched a counterattack on the strategic coastal towns of Ras Lanuf and Brega.Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/Q Battery

The town of Zawiyah, 30 miles from Tripoli, was bombarded by planes and tanks and seized by pro-Gaddafi troops, "exercising a level of brutality not yet seen in the conflict." Eastern Libya, centered on the second city and vital port of Benghazi, is said to be firmly in the hands of the opposition, while Tripoli and its environs remain in dispute.Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/R Battery

However, in several public appearance

s, Gaddafi has threatened to destroy the protest movement, and Al Jazeera and other agencies have reported his government is arming pro-Gaddafi militiamen to kill protesters and defectors against the regime in Tripoli.Sony VAIO VGN-CS118E/W Battery

Organs of the United Nations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon[66] and the United Nations Human Rights Council, have condemned the crackdown as violating international law, with the latter body expelling Libya outright in an unprecedented action urged by Libya's own delegation to the UN.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

The United States imposed economic sanctions against Libya,[69] followed shortly by Australia,[70] Canada[71] and the United Nations Security Council, which also voted to refer Gaddafi and other government officials to the International Criminal Court for investigation.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

On 26 February 2011, the National Transitional Council was established under the stewardship of Mustafa Abdul Jalil, Gaddafi's former justice minister, to administer the areas of Libya under rebel control. This marked the first serious effort to organize the broad-based opposition to the Gaddafi regime. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

While the council is presently based in Benghazi, it claims Tripoli as its capital.[74] Hafiz Ghoga, a human rights lawyer, later assumed the role of spokesman for the council.[75] On 10 March 2011, France became the first state to recognise the National Libyan Council as the country's legitimate government.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

On 17 March 2011 the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 with a 10–0 vote and five abstentions. Resolution 1973 sanctioned the establishment a no-fly zone and the use of "all means necessary" to protect civilians within Libya.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery

Shortly afterwards, Libyan Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa stated that "Libya has decided an immediate ceasefire and an immediate halt to all military operations".[77] However, attacks against insurgent strongholds appear to have continued despite this claim.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery

On 19 March 2011, the first Allied act to secure the no-fly zone began when French military jets entered Libyan airspace on a reconnaissance mission heralding attacks on enemy targets. Allied military action to enforce the ceasefire commenced the same day when a French aircraft opened fire and destroyed an enemy vehicle on the ground. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery

French jets also destroyed five enemy tanks belonging to the Gaddafi regime.[79] The United States and United Kingdom launched attacks on over 20 "integrated air defense systems" using more than 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles during operations Odyssey Dawn and Ellamy.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery

On 27 June 2011, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant on Gaddafi, alleging that Gaddafi has been personally involved in planning and implementing "a policy of widespread and systematic attacks against civilians and demonstrators and dissidents".Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery


Libya extends over 1,759,540 square kilometres (679,362 sq mi), making it the 17th largest nation in the world by size. Libya is somewhat smaller thanIndonesia in land area, and roughly the size of the US state of Alaska. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery

It is bound to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, the west by Tunisia and Algeria, the southwest by Niger, the south by Chad and Sudan and to the east by Egypt. Libya lies between latitudes 19° and 34°N, and longitudes 9° and 26°E.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTR Battery

At 1,770 kilometres (1,100 mi), Libya's coastline is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean. The portion of the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya is often called the Libyan Sea. The climate is mostly dry and desertlike in nature. However, the northern regions enjoy a milderMediterranean climate.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTW Battery

Natural hazards come in the form of hot, dry, dust-laden sirocco (known in Libya as the gibli). This is a southern wind blowing from one to four days in spring and autumn. There are also dust storms and sandstorms. Oases can also be found scattered throughout Libya, the most important of which are Ghadamesand Kufra.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAB Battery

Libyan Desert

The Libyan Desert, which covers much of Libya, is one of the most arid places on earth.In places, decades may pass without rain, and even in thehighlands rainfall seldom happens, once every 5–10 years. At Uweinat, as of 2006 the last recorded rainfall was in September 1998.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAC Battery

There is a largedepression, the Qattara Depression, just to the south of the northernmost scarp, with Siwa Oasis at its western extremity. The depression continues in a shallower form west, to the oases of Jaghbub and Jalo.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAD Battery

Likewise, the temperature in the Libyan desert can be extreme; on September 13, 1922 the town of Al 'Aziziyah, which is located southwest of Tripoli, recorded an air temperature of 57.8 °C (136.0 °F), generally accepted as the highest recorded naturally occurring air temperature reached on Earth.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NBB Battery

There are a few scattered uninhabited small oases, usually linked to the major depressions, where water can be found by digging to a few feet in depth. In the west there is a widely dispersed group of oases in unconnected shallow depressions, the Kufra group, consisting of Tazerbo, Rebianae and Kufra.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCA Battery

Aside from the scarps, the general flatness is only interrupted by a series of plateaus and massifs near the centre of the Libyan Desert, around the convergence of the Egyptian-Sudanese-Libyan borders.

Slightly further to the south are the massifs of Arkenu, Uweinat and Kissu.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCB Battery

These granite mountains are ancient, having formed long before the sandstones surrounding them. Arkenu and Western Uweinat are ring complexes very similar to those in the Aïr Mountains. Eastern Uweinat (the highest point in the Libyan Desert) is a raised sandstone plateau adjacent to the granite part further west.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCC Battery

The plain to the north of Uweinat is dotted with eroded volcanic features. With the discovery of oil in the 1950s also came the discovery of a massive aquifer underneath much of the country. The water in this aquifer pre-dates the last ice ages and the Sahara desert itself.Sony VAIO VGN-CS50B/W Battery

The country is also home to the Arkenu craters, double impact craters found in the desert.

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