Libya Border Map

Yearbook 2003

Libya. According to Countryaah.com, Libya Independence Day is December 24. Libya made great efforts during the year to live up to US, UK and UN requirements. The country agreed to pay $ 10 million in damages to relatives of each of the 270 people killed when a US passenger plane was blown over the Scottish village of Lockerbie in 1988. The money, thus a total of $ 2.7 billion, would be paid out in three rounds.

After the settlement, France demanded the same high damages to relatives of the victims of the blast attack against a French passenger plane over Niger in 1989, when 170 people were killed. Libya had not admitted any involvement in this attack, but had already paid $ 33 million in damages. No agreement on this issue had been reached at the end of the year.

The UN Security Council decided on September 12 to lift the trade sanctions against Libya that came into force in 1992. The agreement also would lift the United States unilateral trade sanctions against Libya and remove the country from its list of states that support terrorism.

On December 19, Libya’s leader Muammar al-Khadaffi announced, surprisingly, that the country would scrap its weapons of mass destruction and discontinue all manufacturing of such weapons. al-Khadaffi also promised to cooperate with international inspectors. The decision was welcomed positively worldwide. According to US and British experts, Libya had large amounts of toxic mustard gas and had plans to develop biological and nuclear weapons.

The country’s parliament, the General People’s Congress, decided on June 13 for a government reform. Shokri Ghanem was appointed new secretary of the Ministry of Public Affairs, a post corresponding to the prime minister.

About 200 refugees from Ghana were reported to have died in the first half of the year as they tried to make their way through the Sahara Desert to the coast to travel to Europe.

WHO reported in April that Libya’s health care system had more or less collapsed. In June, the health organization estimated that 60% of hospitals in the country’s conflict zones were closed or no longer available. In October, OCHA estimated that 1.3 million. Libyans needed humanitarian assistance.

Sirte was recovered from IS in December 2016 after ½ years of fighting. The United States had participated in the fighting through regular aircraft bombings. However, IS was not beaten. The movement created new bases south and southeast of Sirte. These were attacked throughout 2017.

Following the EU agreement with Turkey in February 2016 to stop the flow of refugees to Europe, the refugee flow was instead concentrated on the Mediterranean route, with most of the refugees traveling through Libya. At the end of 2016, the UNHCR estimated that there were 700,000 – 1,000,000 refugees and migrants in the country. In June, the EU renewed its military mission, Operation Sophia, to stop the flow of refugees. The consequence was that even more refugees were drowned and even more refugees were subjected to abuse in Libya in particular. IS abducted refugees, forcibly Islamized them, and married them to the movement’s soldiers in the case of women. The other parties of the Civil War also abducted refugees, subjected them to extortion or sexual assault. Meanwhile, the West turned a blind eye to the Western created chaos in Libya.

One of the three major factions of the Civil War conquered Tripoli in March 2016. There were now two main factions controlling the western and eastern parts of the country respectively. Despite the mediation efforts in 2016 and 17, they failed to bring the warring parties closer together. The Civil War continued.

International governance

In January 1942, Britain’s Foreign Minister Anthony Eden stated that the country should ensure that the sanctions in Kyrenaika after the war should never again be ruled by Italy. From January 1943, the United Kingdom established a military administration in Kyrenaika and Tripolitania; the free French forces in Fezzan. Formally, however, Libya was still an Italian colony, until 1948.

Italy renounced all demands in Africa through the 1947 peace treaty. The Italians had helped modernize Libya, but only parts of society. They did not create any Libyan identity, and Libyans were not given higher education or the opportunity to hold positions. Libyan society remained in many – and far into independence – a traditionally bound society where tribal affiliation was strong.

The Allies disagreed with Libya’s further path. Already during the war, the United States had announced several solutions, including an international mandate under the supervision of Britain, France and Egypt; another was to give Kyrenaika to Egypt, Tripolitania to Tunisia; a third to give the whole country to Italy; a fourth was to convert the Italian farms in Kyrenaika into a Jewish settlement. The USSR would share control of the three territories and even control Tripolitania, while the United Kingdom would take Kyrenaika and France Fezzan. France proposed to return all three to Italy. The United Kingdom agreed to immediate independence.

The four allies set up a commission which in 1948 inquired about Libya’s desire – which was independence. However, the Commission felt that Libyans were not ripe for this, either politically, economically or socially. Without the prospect of agreement, the great powers left the case in 1948 to the UN, which in 1949 decided to merge Tripolitania, Kyrenaika and Fezzan, and to give the entire territory independence. In the meantime, a recent British attempt to find a solution, in two-sided negotiations with Italy, had been rejected by the UN. This, the so-called Bevin-Sforza plan (named after the two countries’ foreign ministers), made Kyrenaika a British, Tripolitania an Italian and Fezzan a French mandate, after which Libya would become independent after ten years, provided that from the UN.

On November 21, 1949, the UN General Assembly resolved that Libya should become independent by January 1, 1952.

Already in 1949, Idris, with British support, declared Kyrenaika an independent emirate. Tripolitania was more divisive, and more Republican-minded. The political parties there also wanted independence, and unity between the three Libyan provinces. The disagreement between Kyrenaika and Tripolitania focused especially on the question of sanusi leadership, and thus: Republic or monarchy. The issue of state form became the central precedent for independence. The alternatives were a unitary state, which would be dominated by Tripolitania, or a federal state with regional autonomy for the three provinces. It ended with a federal monarchy with the Sanusian Idris as king, who assumed that Tripolitania should not have a dominant role in relation to Kyrenaika.

Libya Border Map