muammar gaddafi – Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 13:57:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://libyamazigh.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/cropped-icon-1-32x32.png muammar gaddafi – Liby Amazigh http://libyamazigh.org/ 32 32 Before voting, Libyans must speak out | Opinions https://libyamazigh.org/before-voting-libyans-must-speak-out-opinions/ Wed, 29 Dec 2021 13:57:21 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/before-voting-libyans-must-speak-out-opinions/

On December 22, just two days before the scheduled date of the Libyan presidential election, the electoral commission announced the postponement of the poll. The High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) suggested January 24, 2022 as a new date for the polls, after a parliamentary commission overseeing the elections deemed them “impossible” to take place on December 24 as originally planned.

However, so far there is no agreement on the new date or electoral procedures, nor on whether or not to hold presidential and legislative elections on the same day. But the lack of consensus on these logistical issues is by far not the biggest problem.

There are currently major unresolved issues that polarize the country and, in the absence of an open dialogue to resolve them, holding elections on January 24 or any future date risks plunging the country into a new cycle of violence.

The puzzles of past elections

Holding elections in the midst of strong political polarization has already proved disastrous for peace in Libya. After the overthrow of long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libyan and foreign actors rushed to the elections to revive the country’s political transition. But instead of bringing stability, the elections only worsened political and social tensions, resulting in repeated episodes of deadly violence.

On July 7, 2012, Libya held its first parliamentary vote since the collapse of the Gaddafi regime to elect the 200-member General National Congress (GNC). Although hailed as “free and fair” by the major Western powers and the UN, the elections did not bring stability to the country.

The major social and political divides had not been resolved, leading to unrest before and after the vote. Old grievances from the eastern and southern regions resurfaced, as their residents viewed the uneven geographic distribution of seats as a sign that their marginalization by Tripoli would also continue in post-Gaddafi Libya.

In addition, local political actors sought to weaken the GNC. Prior to the vote, the legislature was deprived of key powers, such as appointing a committee to draft the constitution and debate its provisions. Thus, the Tripoli-based GNC was born weak, suffering from limited powers and a lack of legitimacy. The cabinet he elected was also weakened.

This allowed rogue political actors to take advantage of interregional tensions for their own political gain. In February 2014, General Khalifa Haftar, a senior officer in Gaddafi’s army who had turned against him, launched his Operation Dignity, urging the Libyans to rebel against the GNC. In May, his forces stormed the GNC building in Tripoli and launched an offensive against armed groups in Benghazi.

With its mandate expired and the country falling into war, the GNC was forced to schedule new parliamentary elections in June. Amidst the violence and record turnout, the House of Representatives was elected. Many GNC members, mostly from the west, contested the results and refused to cede legislative power to the new body. Forces loyal to the GNC prevented the newly elected MPs from starting work. In November, the Libyan Supreme Court ruled that the June 25 elections were unconstitutional, but the House of Representatives, which had received UN recognition, ignored the resolution.

Thus, at the end of the year, the country was effectively divided between two camps: the General National Congress located in Tripoli, which acted as executive and was finally replaced in 2015 by the Government of National Accord (GNA). recognized by the UN, and the House of Representatives, which had moved from the capital to the eastern port city of Tobruk.

One of the main reasons why the elections failed to move the country forward was the lack of agreement between the various political actors in Libya and commitment to the basic political principles of democratic transition. Prior to undertaking these votes, no guarantees were put in place to ensure the acceptance and compliance of all parties with the final results. No meaningful steps have been taken to resolve the historic grievances of marginalized groups and preserve their representation in new state institutions. There was also no proper reconciliation between communities and tribes that had been involved in past violence.

The absence of these important elements of the transition process led to its eventual collapse. Gradually, the division over legitimacy and state representation dragged the country into a civil war between rival camps backed by regional actors.

It then took several years for the international community and Libyan civilian forces to try to relaunch the transition process. In 2020, a ceasefire was negotiated to end Haftar’s failed offensive on Tripoli. The Libya Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) was then launched, supported by the United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMI) and regional and international actors, such as Egypt, Turkey, Russia, France, United States and Italy – each with their own interests in Libya.

In 2021, the Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed as an interim institution to advance the political process in the country, and presidential elections were scheduled for December 24. Despite the GNU’s initial approval, the House of Representatives eventually passed a no-confidence vote against in September.

Continuous polarization

Long before the vote, it was clear that old divisions continue to fester and undermine the transition. There were several sticking points, which reflect the widespread polarization in Libya and which undermined the electoral process.

First, the Election Law, which described electoral procedures and the post-election institutional setup, was not accepted by all parties. The provisions of the law were drafted and adopted by the House of Representatives, which failed to properly consult other Libyan state institutions, such as the GNU, the Presidential Council and the High Council of State ( HSC).

The law was also drafted in such a way as to erect the Libyan political system into a presidential regime, giving the presidency significant powers. The provisions of the law also allow current electoral office holders to stand for election and then return to office if they lose.

Second, no consensus candidate, who could unite a divided Libya, was presented before the elections. In fact, the first in the race were all division figures. Among them: GNU Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, who decided to run despite his promise not to do so; Aguila Saleh, Speaker of the House of Representatives and close ally of Haftar; Haftar himself; and finally, Saif al-Islam Kadhafi, one of Kadhafi’s sons, accused of crimes against humanity and wanted by the International Criminal Court and the Attorney General of Tripoli.

Saif al-Islam’s candidacy, in particular, has sparked a great deal of outrage among Libyans, who are dismayed that an election designed to put the country back on the path of democratic transition could bring the Gaddafi regime back. While he is the most controversial of these favorites, the others are also quite problematic. It is clear that they all want to come forward to restore or protect their positions and privileges and would be unable to defuse tensions, bring the country closer together and gain the support of all regional actors.

Third, just like in 2012 and 2014, there does not appear to be a consensus on the “rules of the game” before the presidential vote. The main political actors – backed by various armed groups – clearly disagreed about what would happen after the election, how the transfer of power would take place and how recognition of the results by all would be guaranteed.

In addition, there are no neutral security forces or a unified army that could ensure the calm of the vote, no neutral judiciary that could settle disputes, and no independent media that could keep the Libyan people properly informed. More importantly, there is no reconciliation among Libyans as old and new grievances continue to fester and various communities continue to be marginalized.

The path to follow

The UN, along with the international community, has tried to close its eyes to the internal divisions between the main Libyan actors and pushed the Libyans to organize elections at all costs, as it has done in the past, to the detriment of the nation.

It is clear that holding elections under these circumstances, which are quite similar to those of 2012 and 2014, if not worse, will not lead to peace and stability in Libya. This is why the postponement of the vote must be seen as an opportunity to prevent the country from descending into a new cycle of violence.

In order to put Libya back on a path of peaceful transition, the country needs a new national dialogue supported by the UN and the international community. It should bring together all Libyan stakeholders, including civil society, representatives of ethnic minorities (such as Amazighs and Tebu), marginalized areas (such as Fezza) and marginalized groups (such as women and youth) and seek to build consensus on the electoral process, relevant legislation, transfer of power and the division of powers between state institutions.

The main political actors should publicly declare their commitment to the electoral process, commit to respecting the final results and prepare to cede their power. The dialogue is also expected to result in a roadmap to address other critical issues of the transitional period, such as the drafting of a new constitution, the reunification of state institutions – especially the military – reform security sector and reconciliation among Libyans.

A decade after the fall of the Gaddafi regime, it is time for Libya and its international partners to learn from the mistakes of the past. Rushing the Libyans to hold one more election amidst severe polarization and latent grievances will lead to more instability and violence. Libya has the potential to emerge from its failed state, but to do so, it needs the support of the international community to hold a national dialogue and move forward towards peace and reconciliation.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Al Jazeera.

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Women face obstacles in running for Libyan presidency https://libyamazigh.org/women-face-obstacles-in-running-for-libyan-presidency/ Wed, 01 Dec 2021 17:31:19 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/women-face-obstacles-in-running-for-libyan-presidency/

Libyans go to the polls to elect their president for the first time. On November 22, the deadline for submitting candidatures, the total number of candidates for the country’s first place reached 98 people, in a country of 6.5 million inhabitants and less than 3 million eligible voters.

The field includes figures from all walks of life, including Libya’s best comedian, first and former prime ministers, and past and current speakers of parliament. The son of the late Muammar Gaddafi, Saif Al-Islam, his father’s former secretary, Bashir Saleh, and a minister of the Gaddafi era have all joined the race. General Khalifa Hifter, the dominant force in eastern Libya, also hopes to win the presidency through the ballot box.

But on November 24, the High National Electoral Commission (HNEC) disqualified 25 candidates, reducing the list to 73. Different reasons were enumerated against each rejected candidate, including legal issues and dual nationality of another country, which Libyan law does not allow. any public office holder.

The candidate selection process and background check are carried out by different state departments such as the Attorney General’s Office, Passport Authority, Criminal Investigation Department and Secret Service. For example, Gaddafi and Saleh were disqualified because it turned out that they both had a final court verdict, violating a clause prohibiting any convicted person from standing for election.

The HNEC was left with a new roster of 73 qualified candidates, but the commission says after an appeal process, any successful caller could join the qualified candidates.

Two women stand out from the crowd: Laila bin Khalifa and Honeda Tomeya. Both make history by becoming the only two women candidates for the very first presidential elections since the country’s independence in 1951.

Tomeya introduced herself as a social science researcher. In her statement, she called on “all political actors and presidential candidates” to respect the results of the polls.

Bin Khalifa, the first woman to apply, said: “I dream of changing Libya. She is a well-known activist and has campaigned for more women to enter politics. She has in the past emphasized the idea of ​​quotas for women in elections. Bin Khalifa is also the leader of the Libyan National Movement, a small political party. She is originally from Zwara, a small town near the Tunisian borders with an Amazigh majority. The presidential candidacy of a minority woman is also unprecedented.

“Libyan male-dominated society makes it difficult for women to gain access to the highest political levels,” Fatima Adeeb, professor of law at the University of Tripoli, told Al-Monitor.

She also stressed that the law on presidential elections “does not provide for any quota for women candidates”. The fact that political parties do not participate in elections, she said, means “there is no way to impose a quota” for women.

Saleh Hassan, a retired lawyer from Benghazi, eastern Libya, stressed that “election quotas mean women need men’s support.” He added that “special arrangements for women in elections” mean that women will always need the help of men.

In a patriarchal society like Libya, lone women can only be heard if they have the support of men; a fact recognized by Ben Khalifa.

She appeared in a music video, after signing up for the polls, saying, “I have the support of many men and I can’t do anything without them. In the same clip, she also highlighted her struggle with the current and previous parliaments to include more women in political representation.

Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah has pledged to have at least 30 percent women in his cabinet, but his government has only three female ministers. Bin Khalifa said it was “disappointing”.

The new law on parliamentary elections requires 16 percent of seats to be filled by women. But it does not openly allow political parties to run for elections scheduled after the December 24 presidential elections.

In any case, this new law is “progressive compared to the previous one”, which gave women 10 percent of the seats, said Nuria Hussain, a lawyer from Tripoli. Yet it is below what the current interim government promised in March.

Many Libyan women believe their situation will improve as the country progresses in its democratic transition. Salem Hamza, a government consultant, said electoral laws could be disadvantageous for women now “but remember we are only ten years from this new Libya.”

Before 2011, there were no elections in Libya at all. However, Hamza stressed that “women need to be more involved” in local politics. He believes that women’s success “at the national level begins at the local level”. There are no female members in dozens of local councils in small towns and rural areas. Even the Tripoli city council has no women.

Almost all of the women’s activist organizations in Libya are very new, lacking in resources, experience and appropriate training. Hasna, a teacher in Misrata, who does not want her last name published, told Al-Monitor, “In Misrata there are hardly any women in the public sector, let alone in politics.”

Misrata, Libya’s third largest city, is very conservative, even by Libyan standards, and women’s participation in all public activities is occasional at best. Hasna believes that all governments over the past decade “have done very little for women.”

She points to the current Minister of Justice and asks “what has she done for her fellow human beings? Nothing. ”Hasna also quotes Foreign Minister Najla Al-Mangoush as saying that“ her own ministry is dominated by men ”, but many women in this ministry“ never reach the upper levels ”.

In Libya, where religious traditions and conservatism still dominate life, women still have a long way to go to be fully integrated in politics. Another obstacle has been violence directly linked to politics. Many women have paid with their lives to speak out on political issues, which is still fresh in the minds of many women.

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The son of the overthrown leader Muammar Gaddafi released from prison in Libya https://libyamazigh.org/the-son-of-the-overthrown-leader-muammar-gaddafi-released-from-prison-in-libya/ https://libyamazigh.org/the-son-of-the-overthrown-leader-muammar-gaddafi-released-from-prison-in-libya/#respond Mon, 06 Sep 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/the-son-of-the-overthrown-leader-muammar-gaddafi-released-from-prison-in-libya/

Quick News

Saadi Gaddafi has been jailed in Tripoli since his extradition from Niger in 2014. He immediately flew to the Turkish city of Istanbul after his release, an official source said.

Saadi Gaddafi, son of Muammar Gaddafi, sits behind bars during a hearing in a courtroom in Tripoli, Libya on February 7, 2016 (Ismail Zetouni / Reuters)

Libyan authorities have released Saadi Gaddafi, a son of former leader Muammar Gaddafi who was overthrown and killed in a 2011 uprising, an official Libyan source and a unity government source said on Sunday.

Saadi Gaddafi fled for Niger during the NATO-backed uprising, but was extradited to Libya in 2014 and has since been imprisoned in Tripoli.

He immediately flew to Istanbul, the official source said.

Libya has experienced chaos, division and violence in the decade since the uprising. The national unity government was installed in March as part of a peace campaign that was also to include elections scheduled for December.

READ MORE: Do Khalifa Haftar’s actions indicate more violence in Libya?

Not guilty

His release is the result of negotiations involving senior tribal officials and Prime Minister Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, the official source said. Another source said the negotiations also involved former Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.

In 2018, the Justice Ministry declared that Saadi Gaddafi had been found not guilty of “murder, deception, threats, enslavement and defamation of former player Bashir Rayani”.

In July, the New York Times said it interviewed Saadi’s brother, Saif al Islam Gaddafi, detained for years in the town of Zintan, as his supporters say he will run in the presidential elections scheduled for December.

READ MORE: Can the Libyan government organize the December elections without a budget?

Source: Reuters

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Renewal of Sufi rituals in war-torn Libya https://libyamazigh.org/renewal-of-sufi-rituals-in-war-torn-libya/ https://libyamazigh.org/renewal-of-sufi-rituals-in-war-torn-libya/#respond Thu, 26 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/renewal-of-sufi-rituals-in-war-torn-libya/

The Sufi institute was closed for six years following the 2012 attack by militants who broke into the site, detonating part of its shrine and burning books.

Bullets marks the minaret of the Sufi Mosque of Zliten in Libya, but followers of the Islamic spiritual tradition are striving to renovate and preserve their heritage.

A handful of students sit cross-legged on the floor of the Asmariya zawiya mosque, transcribing onto wooden tablets as their teacher sings Quranic verses.

Elsewhere in the complex, named in honor of its 16th-century founder Abdessalam al-Asmar, scholars ponder old manuscripts on Islamic theology and law.

Zawiya, an Arabic term for a Sufi institute providing space for religious gatherings, Koranic education and free accommodation for travelers, also includes a boarding school and a university.

Historian Fathi al-Zirkhani claims the site is the Libyan equivalent of the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo, a world authority on Sunni Islam.

But despite Sufism’s long history across North Africa, Libya’s plunge into chaos after longtime autocrat Muammar Gaddafi was ousted in a 2011 uprising gave the militias carte blanche.

They understood hard-line Orthodox views, which are deeply hostile to Sufi “heretics” and their nocturnal ceremonies aimed at drawing closer to the divine.

“(Previously) dormant ideological currents, with support from abroad, took advantage of the security vacuum to attack the zawiyas,” Zirkhani said.

The Sufi Mosque in the coastal town of Zliten in Tripoli, 150 kilometers east of the Libyan capital, which is alwo a zawiya, an Arabic term for a Sufi institute offering religious education and free accommodation to travelers, also includes boarding school and university, August 11, 2021 (AFP)

In August 2012, dozens of anti-Sufism activists broke into the site, blowing up part of the shrine, stealing or burning books and damaging Asmar’s tomb.

But today, artisans are restoring terracotta tiles and repairing damage caused by extremists.

The tomb is surrounded by scaffolding but still wears its green silk cover, delicately embroidered with gold.

The zawiya welcomes several hundred students, many of them foreigners, who benefit from free accommodation and accommodation.

“I came to Libya to learn the Quran here,” Thai student Abderrahim bin Ismail said, in faltering Arabic.

Coverin Abdellah Aoch, a 17-year-old Chadian in a long blue tunic, said he worked hard to memorize verses.

“I hope to memorize the whole Quran, then go home and become a religious teacher,” he said.

Fear, mistrust and hope

When the call to prayer rings out, everyone gets up and walks through an arcaded courtyard to the mosque for midday prayers.

It is a scene that has been repeated daily for hundreds of years, but the zawiya has had a few turbulent decades.

Gaddafi, who ruled Libya with an iron fist for four decades after seizing power in a coup in 1969, was wary of the Sufis.

“He infiltrated the zawiya with his secret services, creating a climate of fear and mistrust,” said one employee, who asked to remain anonymous.

“Gaddafi chose to divide the Sufis in order to better control them.”

Muslim students study the Koran at the Sufi Mosque in the coastal town of Zliten, Tripoli, 150 kilometers east of the Libyan capital, which is also a Sufi institute offering religious education and free accommodation.

Muslim students study the Koran at the Sufi Mosque in the coastal town of Zliten, Tripoli, 150 kilometers east of the Libyan capital, which is also a Sufi institute offering religious education and free accommodation. (AFP)

But Gaddafi’s authorities “loosened the grip in the mid-1990s, which allowed the zawiyas to regain their autonomy,” he added.

After the overthrow of Gaddafi in 2011, another danger arose. The attack on Zliten, on the Mediterranean coast east of Tripoli, found an echo throughout the country.

Die-hard activists have used excavators and jackhammers to destroy numerous Sufi sites across Libya, with attacks echoing in Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Zirkhani says that the people who attacked the Zliten compound were “extremists known to the state”.

But in the chaos of post-revolt Libya, they were never held accountable.

The zawiya has also suffered from a lack of funds as it seeks to rebuild and restore its treasures. Zirkhani takes care of the ancient manuscripts he wishes to keep for posterity.

“We do not have the means or the know-how to restore them,” Zirkhani said. “We need the help of (the United Nations cultural agency) of UNESCO and of the European institutions.”

But there are some signs of hope for the Sufis in Libya.

The zawiya was closed for six years after the 2012 bombing. But in 2018 it quietly reopened and the Sufis were able to practice their customs more publicly.

Last October in Tripoli, they took to the streets of the old city to celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, a celebration frowned upon by the more austere currents of Islam.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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UN-Backed Libya Talks Fail Election Consensus | Middle East News https://libyamazigh.org/un-backed-libya-talks-fail-election-consensus-middle-east-news/ https://libyamazigh.org/un-backed-libya-talks-fail-election-consensus-middle-east-news/#respond Sat, 03 Jul 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/un-backed-libya-talks-fail-election-consensus-middle-east-news/

Libyan delegates failed to agree on a legal framework to hold presidential and parliamentary elections later this year, the United Nations said, endangering an agreed roadmap to end the conflict in this country. country.

The Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF), a 75-member body from all walks of life in Libya, concluded five days of talks on Friday at a hotel outside Geneva, the United Nations support mission in Libya announced on Saturday.

Participants in the UN-brokered talks discussed several constitutional base proposals for the elections, some of which were inconsistent with the roadmap that set the vote for December 24. Others sought to establish the conditions for the elections to be held as planned, the mission said. .

The UN mission said LPDF members have created a committee to bridge the gap between the proposals submitted to the forum. But the impasse remained.

“It’s unfortunate,” said Raisedon Zenenga, the mission coordinator. “The Libyan people will certainly feel disappointed because they still aspire to exercise their democratic rights during the presidential and parliamentary elections on December 24. “

The mission urged members of the forum to continue consultations to agree on “a workable compromise and cement what unites them”. He warned that proposals which “do not make the elections feasible and possible for the holding of elections on December 24 will not be accepted.”

“This is not the outcome that many of us were hoping for, but it is the best outcome given the options that were on the table,” forum member Elham Saudi wrote on Twitter. “It only delays the battle, but does not solve the problems. “

From Tripoli, Al Jazeera’s Malik Traina said the lingering divisions between Libya’s main political groups have proved insurmountable.

“It was a created body [by the UN] help build consensus and reach agreement. They [the delegates] were supposed to propose a constitutional framework for the elections to be held in December, but they are deeply divided.

“Despite the appointment of an interim government in February, each side presented a different candidate. Libya is still divided on how to hold the elections in December, ”he said.

The UN criticized

More than two dozen LPDF members criticized the UN mission for its proposal that the forum vote on suggestions that included keeping the current government in power and holding parliamentary elections only.

Richard Norland, the US special envoy to Libya, accused “several members” of the forum of apparently trying to insert “poison pills” to ensure that elections do not take place “or by prolonging the constitutional process or by creating new conditions that must be met for elections to occur ”.

“We hope that the 75 Libyans of the LPDF will once again dedicate themselves to enabling the 7 million Libyans across the country to have a voice in shaping the future of Libya,” he said.

Christian Buck, director of the Middle East and North Africa at the German foreign ministry, urged LPDF members to stick to the roadmap for the December elections.

“Any postponement would open the door to dangerous scenarios,” he tweeted.

Difficult road

The interim government, headed by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, was appointed by the forum earlier this year in a vote mired in corruption allegations. Its main mandate is to prepare the country for the December elections in the hope of stabilizing the divided nation.

Libya has been plagued by corruption and unrest since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. In recent years, the country has been divided between a government recognized by the UN in the capital, Tripoli, and rival authorities based in the east of the country.

Each camp was supported by armed groups and foreign governments. The UN estimated in December that there were at least 20,000 foreign fighters and mercenaries in Libya, including Turkish, Syrian, Russian, Sudanese and Chadian troops.

In April 2019, Commander Khalifa Haftar and his forces, backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, launched an offensive in an attempt to capture the capital, Tripoli. Haftar’s 14-month campaign collapsed after Turkey stepped up military support for the UN-recognized government with hundreds of soldiers and thousands of Syrian mercenaries.

Last October, a ceasefire agreement was reached which led to an agreement on the December elections and a transitional government that took office in February. The deal called for a request that all foreign fighters and mercenaries leave Libya within 90 days, but that request has yet to be met.

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Stateless ethnic minorities in Libya and the upcoming elections https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections/ https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections/#respond Mon, 28 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections/

Libyan expectations are high and candidates are starting to express their interest in running in the elections scheduled for December of this year.


These were delayed for three years following a military campaign in the capital Tripoli by the renegade government of military commander Khalifa Haftar, based in Tobruk in the east.

The New Interim Government of National Unity (GNU) is an interim government body that was sworn in on March 15. He was tasked with leading the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.

Although many Libyans are eager to go to the polls, the country’s ethnic minorities risk being overlooked in the electoral process.

These include the Amazighs, the Tuaregs, and the Tebu.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is unable to provide an exact number of stateless people in the country, but the percentage of undocumented migrants remains high. Many are unable to acquire citizenship or other forms of documents that would allow them to vote on both elections and a possible constitution.

By the time Libya gained independence in 1951, many non-Arab nomadic communities had settled in the country. But unlike the Libyan Arabs, many of these ethnic minorities suffered from discriminatory laws that excluded them from society.

READ | Haftar’s forces pound Libyan capital after losing towns

Mohammed A’Sunoussy, member of the National Assembly in Tebu, said: “After Libya’s independence, the government took steps to register and issue civil status documents to the Libyan people… but there are had little effort to reach out to Tebu in the desert. as a result, many Tebu were left without any documents at that time. “

Some were also stripped of their Libyan nationality after the International Criminal Court ruled that the mineral-rich Aouzou strip in the south must be returned to Chad. Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi issued a decree stating that any documentation issued in the strip must be revoked and, therefore, many Tébou have not been able to obtain documentation since.

Obstacles to human rights

Likewise, Tuareg tribes have faced discrimination with respect to citizenship rights.

Shortly after the election date was set, the Tuareg Tribal Council met with House of Representatives (HoR) Speaker Agila Saleh to discuss a solution to what they called “obstacles to human rights which [Tuareg] families live among those who hold provisional documents at the Civil Status Authority “.

Holding of temporary documents is common among the Tuaregs, which means they cannot obtain full citizenship rights.

READ HERE | UN notes “tangible progress” on Libya, demands departure of troops by end of week

When the revolution broke out in 2011, Gaddafi recruited Tuareg soldiers by promising them Libyan papers. These promises never materialized and to date, around 14,000 Tuaregs do not hold official papers, according to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples.

These official papers, like the “Carnet de famille”, are essential proofs of citizenship that are often difficult to apply in nomadic communities. Valerie Stocker, researcher at the European Peace Institute, said that “people with undetermined legal status currently cannot participate in formal political life because they are not eligible to vote or stand for election.”

In a statement, the Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities hailed the GNU led by Abdel Hamid al-Dbaibah, and said the election was an “important step in the unification of Libya.”

However, they also called on the interim government to include the country’s ethnic minorities in the upcoming electoral process.

NOTICE | Nobel laureates are not so noble

Similar concerns were expressed ahead of the 2012 elections in Libya. To address this issue, a decree was issued allowing individuals to register to vote with some other form of documentation, including a driver’s license or national identity card.

Despite this, various human rights groups claim that some voters from ethnic minorities were barred from voting on the grounds that they were not “Libyan citizens”.

Stocker documents more than 1,000 Tubu voters in the southeastern district of Koufra who were disqualified, some of whom were denied the right to vote on the basis of their Tubu names.

Although Tuareg activists campaigned against the electoral commission ahead of the 2019 municipal elections, it did not come into effect in time. Southern towns such as Ubari, located in the southwestern constituency of Sabha and home to both the Tuareg and Tebu communities, were overlooked in the electoral process.

Many therefore fear that Libyan ethnic minorities will again be excluded from the voting process due to the lack of documents proving their “Libyan origins”.

In a statement earlier this month, 51 HoR members called for approval of the draft constitution, saying it is necessary to ensure security and stability ahead of the elections.

“Racist referendum”

Last week, the Amazigh, Tuareg and Tebu tribes rejected the referendum on the draft constitution, calling it “illegitimate”.

The 17-member Constitutional Drafting Authority (CDA) includes two members from each of the three minority communities and requires at least one member from each group to transmit the document. This, however, was until the Amazighs withdrew their participation from the CDA.

Since then, the Amazigh Supreme Council has called on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to work to guarantee the rights of their groups, seeking instead an amendment to the 1951 constitution.

In the past, the council had expressed “a serious concern … mainly because of the provisions on decentralization, which do not give them any of the autonomy that some hoped”. Also known as “blind centralism,” the constitution would make decision-making over the problems of these communities the responsibility of Tripoli. Sultan of Tebu Ahmed Haki Musa also condemned the constitution, calling it a “racist referendum”.

“No significant public exchange”

However, some members of the editorial board believe this is a starting point for minority rights and a significant improvement over the 1969 Constitution, which defined Libya as an “Arab state”. with Arabic as its “only official language”.

Citizenship therefore remains somewhat of a controversial subject in Libya. As Stocker puts it, “Although some aspects are frequently discussed in media and social media platforms and in statements made by state officials, there has been no meaningful public exchange or dialogue on the matter. “.

Organizations such as La Lil-Tamiz continue to campaign to denounce the racism directed against ethnic minorities which ultimately prevents them from integrating into society.

But as the elections get closer by the day, it becomes essential to ensure that the non-Arab minority in Libya participates in the political process.

The elections aim to create a sense of national unity after years of a brutal civil war that has divided the country. Observers say national unity cannot be achieved in post-revolutionary Libya unless the country’s entire population – including its ethnic minorities – changes from stateless to voting.

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Stateless ethnic minorities in Libya and the upcoming elections | Elections News https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections-elections-news/ https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections-elections-news/#respond Mon, 28 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/stateless-ethnic-minorities-in-libya-and-the-upcoming-elections-elections-news/

Libyan expectations are high and candidates are starting to express their interest in running in the elections scheduled for December of this year.

These were delayed for three years following a military campaign in the capital Tripoli by the renegade government of military commander Khalifa Haftar, based in Tobruk in the east.

The New Interim Government of National Unity (GNU) is an interim government body that was sworn in on March 15. He was tasked with leading the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to presidential and parliamentary elections later this year.

Although many Libyans are eager to go to the polls, the country’s ethnic minorities risk being overlooked in the electoral process.

These include the Amazighs, the Tuaregs, and the Tebu. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is unable to provide an exact number of stateless people in the country, but the percentage of undocumented migrants remains high. Many are unable to acquire citizenship or other forms of documents that would allow them to vote both on elections and on a possible constitution.

By the time Libya gained independence in 1951, many non-Arab nomadic communities had settled in the country. But unlike the Libyan Arabs, many of these ethnic minorities suffered from discriminatory laws that excluded them from society.

Mohammed A’Sunoussy, member of the National Assembly of Tébou, declares: “After the independence of Libya, the government took steps to register and issue civil status papers to the Libyan population… As a result, many Tebu were left without any documents at that time. “

Some were also stripped of their Libyan nationality after the International Criminal Court ruled that the mineral-rich Aouzou strip in the south must be returned to Chad. Former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi issued a decree stating that any documentation issued in the strip must be revoked and, therefore, many Tébou have not been able to obtain documentation since.

Tuareg tribes cross the desert [File: Wolfgang Kumm/EPA]

Obstacles to human rights

Likewise, Tuareg tribes have faced discrimination with respect to citizenship rights.

Shortly after the election date was set, the Tuareg Tribal Council met with the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR), Agila Saleh, to discuss a solution to what they called “the obstacles to rights.” humans who [Tuareg] families live among those who hold provisional documents at the Civil Status Authority ”. Holding of temporary documents is common among the Tuaregs, which means they cannot obtain full citizenship rights.

When the revolution broke out in 2011, Gaddafi recruited Tuareg soldiers by promising them Libyan papers. These promises never materialized and to date, around 14,000 Tuaregs do not hold official papers, according to the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples.

These official papers, like the “Carnet de famille”, are essential proofs of citizenship that are often difficult to apply in nomadic communities. Valerie Stocker, researcher at the European Peace Institute, said: “People with undetermined legal status currently cannot participate in formal political life because they are not eligible to vote or stand for election”.

In a statement, the Supreme Council of Libyan Tribes and Cities hailed the GNU led by Abdel Hamid al-Dbaibah, and said the election was an “important step in the unification of Libya.” However, they also called on the interim government to include the country’s ethnic minorities in the upcoming electoral process.

Similar concerns were expressed ahead of the 2012 elections in Libya. To address this issue, a decree was issued allowing individuals to register to vote with some other form of documentation, including a driver’s license or national identity card.

Despite this, various human rights groups claim that some voters from ethnic minorities were barred from voting on the grounds that they were not “Libyan citizens”. Stocker documents more than 1,000 Tubu voters in the southeastern district of Koufra who were disqualified, some of whom were denied the right to vote on the basis of their Tubu names.

Although Tuareg activists campaigned against the electoral commission ahead of the 2019 municipal elections, it did not come into effect in time. Southern towns such as Ubari, located in the southwestern constituency of Sabha and home to both the Tuareg and Tebu communities, were overlooked in the electoral process.

Many therefore fear that Libyan ethnic minorities will again be excluded from the voting process due to the lack of documents proving their “Libyan origins”.

In a statement earlier this month, 51 HoR members called for approval of the draft constitution, saying it is necessary to ensure security and stability ahead of the elections.

“Racist referendum”

Last week, the Amazigh, Tuareg and Tebu tribes rejected the referendum on the draft constitution, calling it “illegitimate”.

The 17-member Constitutional Drafting Authority (CDA) includes two members from each of the three minority communities and requires at least one member from each group to transmit the document. This, however, was until the Amazighs withdrew their participation from the CDA.

Since then, the Amazigh Supreme Council has called on the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) to work to guarantee the rights of their groups, seeking instead an amendment to the 1951 constitution.

In the past, the council had expressed “a significant concern … mainly because of the provisions on decentralization, which do not give them the autonomy that some hoped”. Also known as “blind centralism,” the constitution would make decision-making about the problems of these communities the responsibility of Tripoli. Sultan of Tébou Ahmed Haki Musa also condemned the constitution, calling it a “racist referendum”.

No “meaningful public exchange”

However, some members of the editorial board believe this is a starting point for minority rights and a significant improvement over the 1969 Constitution, which defined Libya as an “Arab state”. with Arabic as its “only official language”.

Citizenship therefore remains somewhat of a controversial subject in Libya. As Stocker puts it, “Although some aspects are frequently discussed in media and social media platforms and in statements made by state officials, there has been no meaningful public exchange or dialogue on the issue. . “

Organizations such as La Lil-Tamiz continue to campaign to denounce the racism directed against ethnic minorities which ultimately prevents them from integrating into society.

But as the elections get closer by the day, it becomes essential to ensure that the non-Arab minority in Libya participates in the political process.

The elections aim to create a sense of national unity after years of a brutal civil war that has divided the country. Observers say national unity cannot be achieved in post-revolutionary Libya unless the country’s entire population – including its ethnic minorities – changes from stateless to voting.

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A visit by the Prime Minister, a court ruling and the possibility of another Gaddafi for Libya – Middle East Monitor https://libyamazigh.org/a-visit-by-the-prime-minister-a-court-ruling-and-the-possibility-of-another-gaddafi-for-libya-middle-east-monitor/ https://libyamazigh.org/a-visit-by-the-prime-minister-a-court-ruling-and-the-possibility-of-another-gaddafi-for-libya-middle-east-monitor/#respond Thu, 24 Jun 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/a-visit-by-the-prime-minister-a-court-ruling-and-the-possibility-of-another-gaddafi-for-libya-middle-east-monitor/

Last month Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh visited Bani Walid, southwest of Tripoli. He visited the mountainous city, visited some government institutions and met with local officials and civil society leaders. The visit was the first of its kind by a Prime Minister and marked a new government approach to Bani Walid, long considered the center of support for the late regime of the late Muammar Gaddafi; he sent a message of reconciliation across the divided land.

Home to Libya’s largest tribe, the Warfalla, Bani Walid was the last town to fall to NATO-backed rebels in October 2011. Its fall literally ended the Gaddafi regime in what has become ” Libyan revolution ”. Since then, the city has been closed to the new authorities of the country because it has become a rallying point and a refuge for former supporters of the regime.

It paid a heavy price when in 2011 it was overrun by a coalition of militias aimed at flushing out Gaddafi’s supporters and bringing the city under Tripoli control. However, the invasion failed to break the city’s strong pro-Gaddafi position. Instead, Bani Walid won the support and sympathy of the public from all over Libya, and his tribal members and social leaders became a leading voice for reconciliation in the country.

The reconciliation process was officially launched by the Presidency Council and Bani Walid is likely to once again play a leading role in bringing Libyans together as they prepare for the elections scheduled for December 24. It is in this context that we read recent press articles claiming that Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi, the late leader’s son, is considering running for president later this year.

READ: Will Libya’s First Female Foreign Minister Be Forced To Leave Her Post?

However, his representative living in exile abroad told me that Gaddafi has not spoken to any media recently and that the media reports are only speculation. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the 58-year-old former university professor confirmed that Gaddafi is “in good health and well inside Libya and that he is in indirect contact with the Libyan people, regularly receiving visitors “. His whereabouts, however, “cannot be disclosed” for obvious security reasons.

Gaddafi junior took refuge in Bani Walid when he fled Tripoli after it was taken by the rebels in August 2011, at the end of the war. In the city where he enjoys respect and support, he has been offered shelter and protection. If, indeed, he decides to run for president in December, he will certainly be a serious candidate.

Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dabaiba or Dbeibeh holds a joint press conference with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (not pictured) after a meeting at Palazzo Chigi on May 31, 2021 in Rome, Italy. [Antonio Masiello/Getty Images]

He was captured on November 19, 2011, while trying to leave Libya, shortly after leaving Bani Walid. In July 2015, Gaddafi and eight former officials in his father’s government were tried and sentenced to death by a court in Tripoli. His captors, the Zintan militia west of Tripoli, worried about his safety and refusing to hand him over to court, his trial was conducted by video link.

Since then, the elected parliament of Libya has adopted law number 6/2015 which mandated a general amnesty under certain conditions for all crimes committed between 2011 and 2015. Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi’s representative confirms that the amnesty law general applies to him “since the Supreme Court recognizes this [the law]”This explains why he was released from prison on June 11, 2017. However, he is also wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Nevertheless, his representative believes that all the legal problems facing Gaddafi are behind him, including that of the ICC. This gives him the legal right to stand for election. Whether it is final or not is another matter.

When asked if Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi was ready to run in the December elections, his representative replied that it was up to him to decide. “He will make his decision in due course… depending on the circumstances inside Libya.”

READ: What can we expect from the Berlin II international conference on Libya?

Since 2011, Libya has experienced a series of wars and the near total collapse of government services. Such failures have served to rekindle the belief that former regime supporters should have the chance to run the country. The state has been deprived of experienced bureaucrats who know how to run the country as they did for decades under Muammar Gaddafi.

In 2013, the parliament, under pressure from armed militias, was forced to pass the law on political isolation. This notorious law, condemned by international rights groups, has deprived the country of thousands of experienced civil servants. Fortunately for Libya, the law was overturned by the new parliament in 2015. This allowed former regime supporters to return to the country and participate in the political process again. A handful of former Gaddafi officials now openly hold key government positions.

Gaddafi supporters also took part in the UN-led Political Dialogue Forum that produced the current government of national unity last February. Even Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi’s political team took part in the dialogue which resulted in the appointment of Prime Minister Dbeibeh and the election of a new Presidential Council. This development opens the door for former supporters of the regime to seek political representation.

Kadhafi junior could he, despite everything that happened, come forward to “save the country” as his representative says? Many Libyans still have some nostalgia for their days under Sr. Gaddafi, especially when it comes to security and stability, but translating such sentiments into votes will be difficult.

Observers believe that the Libyan people have now tasted the new political reality of their country, which has cost them dearly. Others think that the people are not yet ready to welcome another Gaddafi even if it is said that Saif Al-Islam is not his father. The only thing that is certain in all of this is that the late Muammar Gaddafi is still popular in Libya, although he was killed ten years ago. Can his son take advantage of this popularity? This is the question we are waiting for an answer.

The opinions expressed in this article are the property of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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Maghreb, Africa – World Atlas https://libyamazigh.org/maghreb-africa-world-atlas/ https://libyamazigh.org/maghreb-africa-world-atlas/#respond Sun, 30 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/maghreb-africa-world-atlas/

The region known as the Maghreb is a region in northwestern Africa. The word “Maghreb” literally means “west” in the Arabic language. This name makes sense because it is found in the west of the Arabian Peninsula, which is the original homeland of the Arabs.

Today, the Maghreb encompasses the countries of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and the disputed region of Western Sahara. Some also add Mauritania to the region. Interestingly, Morocco’s name in Arabic is also Maghreb, so it should not be confused with the Maghreb region.

Geography

Map of the Maghreb and Sahel regions.

The Maghreb is made up of two well-defined regions, the Sahara Desert to the south and the Atlas Mountains to the north. The Sahara Desert covers the overwhelming majority of the territory belonging to Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria and Libya. It also covers the southern half of Tunisia. The dunes for which the Sahara is famous are mainly found in Algeria and Libya.

The Atlas mountain range, which stretches from Morocco to Tunisia, has a number of plateaus that receive regular rainfall of over 100mm per year, in an area where regular rainfall is very difficult to obtain. . The mountains are very difficult to cross due to the extremely high peaks they present. The highest peak in the Atlas Mountains is called Jbel Toubkal and is located in the southwest of Morocco. It is 4,167 meters high. In Antiquity, the Atlas Mountains served as a sort of border between the coastal Maghreb and the Saharan Maghreb.

Story

Ruins of the Roman basilica of Volubilis in Morocco.

The earliest recorded history of the Maghreb dates back to when it was the domain of the Phoenicians, who migrated from their homeland to modern Lebanon to establish ports on the Maghreb coast. One of these ports was Carthage, which later became a powerful empire controlling the northern part of present-day Tunisia, most of the Maghreb coast, the Canary Islands, southern part of Spain d ‘today the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia, and part of the Mediterranean island of Sicily. This empire, however, was only informal, as there was no central government for the entire extent of Carthaginian territory.

The Carthaginian Empire lasted from 575 to 146 BCE. For many years he fought for supremacy against another emerging superpower of the time, the Roman Republic, the precursor of the Roman Empire. The so-called Punic wars, three in number, were the wars fought between the Romans and the Carthaginians. The long struggle between the two empires ended in the Third Punic War when the Romans occupied and destroyed Carthage itself.

The Roman conquest of Carthage marks a turning point in history. To begin with, he shifted the path of civilizational development from Africa to Europe. In addition, he transformed Rome from a regional power to a world power. This forced the Romans to develop a complex system of administration due to the vast new territory they had to control. The methods of administration that the Romans developed to rule its expanded imperial kingdom shaped the administrations of modern nation states, including the United States.

Arabic and Turkish rule

The Arabs introduced camels to the Maghreb region.

The Roman Empire will rule over the Maghreb for many centuries. But in the 7th century CE, another empire emerged that would conquer the entire region and change it forever. This new empire was the Islamic Caliphate. In the middle of the 7th century AD, Arab invaders entered North Africa. By the end of the century, they had brought almost all of the coastal Maghreb under their control. Meanwhile, traditional indigenous leaders have been replaced by Arab leaders.

The Arabs took with them the new religion of Islam, which would eventually become the dominant religion in the Maghreb. Arab rule in the Maghreb will continue until the 16th century, when the Turks began to conquer parts of the region. They eventually took control of almost all of the Maghreb, with the exception of Morocco.

The Arab and Turkish invasions of the Maghreb introduced new fauna to the region. One animal in particular, the camel, would forever change the way trade was conducted in the region. Due to the camel’s ability to withstand the harsh conditions of the Sahara Desert, a Trans-Saharan trade route was established, which increased intercontinental communication between Africa and West Asia. It was the prosperous Maghreb trade that ultimately attracted European powers to the region. At first, the Europeans simply tried to establish trade relations using the coastal territories of the Maghreb as entry points into the larger regional trade market. Later, however, the Europeans changed their intentions from trade to conquest.

European colonization and decolonization

French colonial architecture in Algiers, Algeria. Image Credit: Oguz Dikbakan / Shutterstock

In the first quarter of the 19th century, European powers began to take over parts of the Maghreb. France eventually became the dominant colonial power in the region. The French began their conquests in the region by taking control of what is today the coastal area of ​​Algeria. At the start of the 20th century, they controlled most of the Maghreb and West Africa. Spain had seized territory in what is now Western Sahara and on the northern coast of Morocco, while Italy conquered what is now Libya.

After World War II, a wave of nationalism swept through European colonies overseas, including those in the Maghreb. Libya was the first country in the region to gain independence, followed by Tunisia and Morocco. Algeria gained independence in 1962, following an often bloody revolt against French rule. Spain withdrew from what is now Western Sahara in 1976, after which Morocco immediately claimed sovereignty, a claim which was rejected by the inhabitants of the enclave, which led to a armed resistance. The conflict in Western Sahara remains unresolved to this day.

In 2011, a popular uprising took place in Tunisia, leading to the overthrow of the country’s longtime dictator and the establishment of a democratic government. That same year, in neighboring Libya, an armed rebellion took place, in which Western powers under NATO leadership intervened militarily to help end the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya since 1969. Fighting in Libya continues, however. , between militias vying for control of the country.

Demography

People walking in Algiers, Algeria. Image Credit: Oguz Dikbakan / Shutterstock

The population of the Maghreb is around 100 million inhabitants. 4.5 million more people can be added if Mauritania is included in the region. Algeria is the most populous country in the Maghreb, with around 43.8 million people living within its borders. Not too far behind is Morocco, with around 36.9 million people. Tunisia has around 11.8 million inhabitants, while Libya has around 6.8 million. The disputed enclave of Western Sahara is the least populated in the Maghreb region, with less than 600,000 people living there.

Most of the people living in the Maghreb are of Arab, Berber or mixed Arab and Berber origin. The Berbers, more correctly called the Imazighen (Amazigh in the singular), are the first inhabitants of the Maghreb, having been in the region before the start of the Arab invasions in the 7th century AD. There are several subgroups of Berber peoples, who speak different Berber languages. Although stereotyped as nomads, most Berbers are in fact farmers. For a long time, Europeans called Northwest Africa the Barbary Coast, denoting the presence of Berbers in the region.

A Berber farmer in Morocco.

The Arabic and Berber languages ​​are spoken in the Maghreb, although it is the first that dominates. It should be noted, however, that the Arabic language is not uniform throughout the Maghreb region, nor is it uniform in other parts of the Arab world. The two most commonly spoken varieties of Arabic in the Maghreb are Hassaniya Arabic and Maghreb Arabic, the latter with over 70 million speakers, making it the most common type of Arabic in the region. But Maghrebian Arabic can be further divided into national dialects spoken by Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians and Libyans. A heritage of colonialism, French is still used, spoken and understood in the Maghreb countries that were once under French domination.

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Remembering the Libyan Revolution – Middle East Monitor https://libyamazigh.org/remembering-the-libyan-revolution-middle-east-monitor/ https://libyamazigh.org/remembering-the-libyan-revolution-middle-east-monitor/#respond Mon, 15 Feb 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://libyamazigh.org/remembering-the-libyan-revolution-middle-east-monitor/

In 2011, oil-rich Libya had been ruled by Muammar Gaddafi (1942-2011) for over 40 years. Its eccentricity masked a cruel dictatorship and the Libyan people refused to be bought off by lower prices for basic foodstuffs. They had had enough of the purges, nepotism and corruption.

What: Libyan Revolution of 2011 inspired by the protests of the Arab Spring in the Middle East

Or: Libya

When: February 15, 2011 – October 23, 2011

What happened?

On February 15, 2011, inspired and carried by uprisings in other Arab countries, notably neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, the Libyan popular revolution broke out in Benghazi. Hundreds of people gathered outside a government building in the city after the arrest of a young human rights lawyer, Fethi Tarbel. Protesters called for Gaddafi’s resignation and the release of political prisoners.

The protests quickly spread to other towns, leading to an escalation in clashes between security forces and anti-government rebels. Hundreds of people were reportedly killed by security forces in Benghazi.

Even though the protesters faced live ammunition fired by Gaddafi’s forces, they took control of Benghazi on February 20. Other towns in eastern Libya quickly followed. Shocked by the brutality of the government’s response to the protests, a number of senior officials resigned from Gaddafi’s administration.

READ: How the United Nations took control of Libya, then decided its future

The National Transitional Council (CNT) was formed as a coordination group to represent the rebels. It was ruled by defectors from Gaddafi’s government and was for a time the de facto government of Libya, gaining recognition in Western and Arab capitals.

At the end of February, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 1970 to suspend Libya from the Human Rights Council, impose sanctions and call for an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the regimes shooting. civilians. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates sent troops to help poorly trained CNT forces. In April, a NATO airstrike in Tripoli killed one of Gaddafi’s sons and three of his grandsons.

NATO airstrikes would have been crucial for the rebels to take control of the east and move towards the capital in western Libya. Supported by the persecuted Amazigh minority, the rebels took control of Tripoli in August 2011.

Gaddafi escaped capture until October 20, when he was captured and killed in Sirte. He was 68 years old.

What happened next ?

The National Transitional Council faced a difficult task. Libyan state institutions were fragile and there was a lot of corruption in the country. Gaddafi’s personality cult, mixed with tribal loyalties and favoritism, had defined political culture for four decades.

Libyan assets were released by the UN and the money was airlifted to the Central Bank of Libya in Tripoli. Preparations were made for the General National Congress (GNC) election in 2012. Factions inside the country, however, were unhappy with the GNC and other divisions were created. Lebanese-American General Khalifa Haftar led a militia to overthrow the GNC in February 2014.

Elections were held for a new House of Representatives, but the turnout was very low, estimated at 18 percent, as a result, many people refused to accept the result and the legitimacy of the legislative body. Attacks and bombings have taken place in a number of towns across the country, sparking yet another civil war. The House of Representatives moved to Haftar stronghold in Benghazi, while efforts to create a government of national unity based in Tripoli were underway.

The result was the Government of National Accord (GNA), which was recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of Libya at the end of 2015 before holding its first meeting in Tunis in January 2016. The GNA relocated in Tripoli in March 2016.

Haftar refused to accept the authority of the GNA and has waged a militia war against the legitimate government since its formation. It remains supported by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, as well as France. The GNA, meanwhile, was supported by Qatar and Turkey. It was with Turkish help that GNA forces were able to push back and defeat Haftar’s “Libyan national army” last year. The country is currently going through a difficult process of negotiations to end the civil war.

MAINTENANCE: “Haftar barked the wrong tree”

The opinions expressed in this article are the property of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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