Libya

By pjain      Published June 18, 2020, 12:41 a.m. in blog Geo-Politics   

Libya Crisis Causes

BEFORE: Oil is the Prize - Managed well for Citizens' Benefit

Libya under Gaddafi before Reagan had good 2-2.5m bbl/day production, a significant block.

Free water, almost free gasoline, free health system and free education were commonplace for Libyans under Gaddafi’s dictatorship. The leader, who has been in power for 41 years, has managed to gain the support of all the major tribes and buy social peace through radical measures and a policy of shared oil revenues.

No Terrorism

Libya itself was a stable country where the risk of being kidnapped or even murdered by an armed militia was non-existent.

While Lockerbie terrorism did hurt Libya and it had to pay billions in damages, eventually Gaddafi apologized for it, and put it behind, with West and their oil companies warming up to him.

1990s - Jihadism, the number one enemy of the West, Gaddafi eliminated it with Napalm in the 1990s.

Gaddafi had financed many armed groups in the Sahel, Africa.

Gold-backed Dinar vs Franc/USD - Why did France lead NATO bombing of Libya?

With an excellent management of oil revenues, the Libyan state had managed to store hundreds of tons of gold (143 tons according to WikiLeaks) and the same amount in silver.

Good management of Oil - One of largest stores of gold and silver

2009 Gaddafi as President of African Union promotes Gold Dinar

Well managed oil resources and its precious metals were going to make Libya the most influential country in Africa, supplanting France for example.

Gaddafi wanted to avoid American influence in his oil transactions by using this gold. He launched the gold dinar project, and other major African governments were ready to support him in this project. It was both an African dream and a nightmare for the West’s financial system.

However with NATO/French led backing of rebels, the dream of a unified monetary system based on gold and independent of the dollar perished.

Prior French colonies Unite to remove Franc/CFA - France stands to lose currency base

Countries such as Nigeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Angola were ready to change their currencies.

Destroyed Nation, Fragmented Tribes and Mercenaries under Islamic Radicalism

Political Islamists and neo-Ottomans are lined up on one side, against Arab nationalists and monarchs on the other, in a combustible mix of oil, mercenaries, ideology and naked geopolitical ambition.

AFTER: Sharp Deterioration and Western Companies repenetrate Libya

This deteriorated to 1.5m bbl/day. In the post-Arab Spring and the 2019 resumption of (Turkey/Egypt clashes) between GNA/Haftar, oil production had been decimated to jus 82,000 bbl/day.

European Proximity Curses Libya, US "goes along"

KEY: Mediterranean Power Vacuum - Europe Interferes but doesn't Support!

  1. In a world where American power is on the wane, Libya has emerged as the most promising playground for regional players.

  2. After getting their hand burnt after EU/NATO/Hillary Clinton bombing devasted Libya and triggered millions of refugees many reaching Italy, the EU is also staying out of the picture.

  3. Oil is main axe being ground in Libya. National states like Italy's oil company, Total of France, etc. desperate to access Libya, as Iran, Iraq off limits.

  4. Immigration - Italy allowed hundreds of thousands of Libyan immigrants via sea boats, in hope in being paid billions in support by EU, and then immigrants would move on to cheap labor

Italy and Libyan economy

French fingers in Libyan pie

March 2011, French air force teeth in NATO-bombing

1992-2016 Clintons decades as Wall Street pawns or USD Reserve/Softpower?

  • Even their daughter Chelsea worked for and married an investment banker literally screwed by Wall Street - how close can one get to Wall Street.

Hillary Clinton cheers Rabidly-thirsty for Gaddafi's blood!

  1. Hillary Clinton’s electronic mailbox. One of the 3000 emails showed NATO’s willingness to overthrow Gaddafi’s government. NATO mainly wanted to to neutralize the African gold currency supported by Libyan oil reserves. With the recent release of Hillary Clinton’s emails by Wikileaks, the public now knows exactly how the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) went from a collective defense organization to the new Barbary Coast Pirates of imperialism.

Destroy the Locals - Prevent African Leadership to Raise their heads

Fiat Currencies, Profligacy and Printing money vs Gold back Conservative Powers

2020 Mediterranean Oil Drilling rights at stake - Cheaper than Mideast oil/gas

Libya under Gaddafi before Reagan had good 2-2.5m bbl/day production, a significant block.

  • Turkish claim to exclusive drilling rights in the Mediterranean.

As Turkey made a devil's bargain to keep Libya's GNA alive in face of Haftar advances, the maritime part of the agreement infuriated other Mediterranean countries, who pointed out the new Libyan-Turkish zone cut through Greek waters. The European Union threatened further sanctions over existing Turkish drilling operations off the coast of Cyprus.

Other projects Aborted/Blocked by Legal disputes

It is likely the Turkey/GNA maritime deal is thrown out by international courts due to "clear cut" violation of international territorial waters. But courts are impotent in the face of a ruthless armed Turkish dictator.

The pending legal battles have for now effectively delayed exploration projects by Ankara’s rivals – most significantly a new joint effort by Greece, Cyprus and Israel to build a gas pipeline that would bypass Turkey.

Long Term 2025+ Payoff - Its all in the future!

Spending on Mediterranean energy projects is a bit like national defence budgets. It’s like an arms race where you have to act before your rival does.

Key Players on Ground Floor in 2020

The fragile new government disintegrated into two rival governments based in Tripoli, the capital, and in eastern Tobruk.

1 GNA : "Official Government" - in West - Islamist in Tripoli

Government of National Accord (GNA) is led by Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj - so is seen as the democratically elected regime.

  • Islamists consolidated control over Tripoli, where they backed the rival General National Congress government. West Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) is backed by the UN, but its main allies are Turkey, Qatar and to some extent Italy. It holds little power on the ground, and some distrust its Islamist politics.

The GNA is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and there is hardly any scope for compromise. Although the GNA’s territorial control has doubled, it still controls only less than one-fifth of Libya.

1b Turkish Forces - helping/embedded with GNA

Turkish "advisors" and Syrian Mercenaries not Immune from Direct Attack

The UAE and Russia are displeased with Haftar’s performance, there is too much at stake for them to abandon the LNA now. Turkish and LNA officials traded threats last week after Haftar’s air force chief said Turkish positions would be targeted in a new aerial campaign.

Russian jets have just touched down in eastern Libya which are more than capable of taking out Turkish air defence systems.

For both Ankara and Moscow, the memory of unprecedented direct Turkish-Russian clashes in Syria earlier this year is still fresh when Russians bombed and killed many Turkish soldiers in Northern Syria - they basically faced off Turkey and bloodied its nose.

2 Haftar in East anti-Radicals

  • General Khalifa Haftar returned from USA in 2011 - backed by Egypt, Saudi, Jordan, France

  • Haftar rose to power in the east.

Haftar had been Qaddafi’s military chief of staff and later turned on his boss.

He established his "bones" by helping kick out Gaddafi on the ground floor. Furthered it by launching Operation Dignity from his base in Benghazi in May 2014 to “purge” Islamists from Libya; he specifically targeted the Muslim Brotherhood.

Haftar, who was appointed by the rival parliament in east Libya to head the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA). Haftar’s supporters believe he is a bulwark against extremism, but detractors see him as a would-be military dictator in Gaddafi’s mould. He is supported by the UAE and Russian paramilitary organisation the Wagner group, along with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, France and a ragtag collection of Sudanese and more recently Syrian militias.

USA is Not supporting Haftar actively?

He spent nearly two decades in exile in the United States. He returned to Libya in 2011 with full backing of Obama/Hillary Clinton.

By the time Trump came to power Jan 2017 by BEATING Hillary he was really in no mind to support Hillary's stooges. Probably that is why Trump has let Haftar dangle in the air. There seemed to be no need to either as the General seemed to gradually make progress all until 2019.

Egypt backs Haftar - ?Libya post-Gaddafi continuation

Egypt would be willing to send ground troops into the country to prevent a rout of its ally Khalifa Haftar, the leader of forces in the east.

European diplomats are hoping that Haftar’s military reverses will lead to resumption of political talks agreed in principle in Berlin in January 2020. - Ansar al-Sharia

3 Islamic State’s Gang Cells - South/Sirte base

Islam State's emergence in late 2014 further complicated the crisis. It was initially most active in eastern Derna, a longstanding jihadist breeding ground. It soon established other wilayats, or “provinces,” in the southern Fezzan region and Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown on the Mediterranean coast.

Gradually the Islamic State expanded.

4 Tribes, 1600 armed gangs and Mercenaries

Each faction of the government had its own armed factions. By July,2014 an estimated 1,600 armed groups were operating in Libya—1,300 more than in 2011. Some had links to political parties. Others were purely tribal or regionally based. All fought for power and influence.

2019-2020 Armed Clashes Escalate, Oil Production stops

Apr-Dec 2019 Haftar Surge

In April 2019 the renegades under Haftar launched a new assault on the GNA, triggering some of the most significant fighting on Libyan soil since the Nato-backed battle to overthrow Gaddafi in 2011.

Nov 2019 Turkey backs GNA in a BIG way, reverses battles on ground

By the end of 2019,as LNA forces were about to seize Tripoli, Erdoğan and his oligarch/military machine came out with overt support for the GNA. At this point of fear, got them to sign new agreements - maritime boundaries - military cooperation with Turkish troops and Syrian fighters on the ground - State-of-the-art Turkish reconnaissance and drone technology, - Propping up Tripoli at time of maximal need - Turkey is looking to recoup billions of dollars in unfinished construction contracts signed under Gaddafi, - Get in first when it comes to profitable reconstruction after this bout of fighting

All these are smart strategic moves that neatly countered Turkey’s strategic enemies across the Mediterranean.

However Ankara is increasingly isolated on the world stage and intervention in Libya is deeply unpopular with Turkish voters.

Together, GNA/Turkey have steadily reversed the LNA’s gains since January, culminating last week in the seizure of a key airbase and the town of al-Asabaa from Haftar’s forces which had to do a partial withdrawal from Tripoli’s front lines.

2020 Q1 Haftar's hopes of capturing Tripoli crushed - Haftar reputation suffers

Haftar seems to have overreached, and the present setback dents his credibility, as his army suffers setback under Turkey-GNA-Syrian mercenaries.

Since Apr'20, Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) has retreated from several cities northwest of Tripoli, near the border with Tunisia, as well as the al-Watiya airbase, a strategic asset southwest of the capital.

Diplomatic Interventions to Save Haftar as US/EU reopen after Covid-19

This spurred diplomatic activities over the conflict in the country.

Egypt reacted swiftly by getting Haftar and Aguila Saleh Issa, the head of the Tobruk-based House of Representatives—the third protagonist in the Libyan strife—over to Cairo for a patch-up.

Then on June 6, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi announced a grandiose roadmap called the Cairo Declaration to end the Libyan conflict, a ceasefire starting June 8 (which didn’t happen) followed by “disbanding militias, handing over their arms, pulling out foreign forces, electing a ruling presidential council representing all Libyans and drafting of a constitutional declaration to regulate elections for later stages." But this was welcomed by the Gulf states and Russia

The GNA backed by Turkey remains disinterested in Egypt's Cairo Declaration for a ceasefire, and hopes to make some more territorial gains so as to be able to negotiate from a position of strength. The GNA and Turkey estimate—rightly so—that any respite at this point will be utilized by Haftar and his backers to recoup and plan anew to return to the battlefield to make another bid to rule Libya.

June 10, 2020, Putin called Erdogan to push for ceasefire SOON, and "resume the intra-Libyan dialogue based on the decisions of the Berlin International Conference on January 19, 2020, and approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2510." All this was to keep Haftar alive.

Libyan war is far from over - Israel/US could stab Haftar in back and Align with Turkey as Russia clashes!

A comeback by Haftar can only take place in the fullness of time and that too, if his mentors—France, Egypt, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Russia—repose confidence in him still.

Sirte oil facility next clash, Turkey Seeks to wipe out Haftar as pawn

Turkey wants to weaken Haftar further and eliminate him from the Libyan chessboard forever, depriving his backers of a surrogate figure.

As of June 2020, the prize is the port city of Sirte adjacent to the so-called “oil crescent” comprising Libya’s key oil terminals, and the GNA and Turkey intend to gain control over them.

The GNA is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and there is hardly any scope for compromise. Although the GNA’s territorial control has doubled, it still controls only less than one-fifth of Libya. As of 2020, the LNA remains in possession of something like 60 percent of the country, including the oil fields. But if the Turkish forces seize Sirte and Benghazi, that would phenomenally change the rules of the game in Libya and throughout the region

Trump/Nato wake up to threat of Russian Foothold in Libya

The al-Jufra airbase in the central region where Russia, which has a presence there. GNA must preempted Russia/Haftar from consolidating by bringing in reinforcements of mercenaries. Russia is unlikely to give up the base easily and will bring in mercenaries to counter the GNA offensive. In the past eg the six-day Israeli war when Russia backed Egypt, it risked its own planes directly against IDF forces. Russia recently transferred over a dozen fighter jets to al-Jufra. Turkey anticipates that Russia has plans to turn al-Jufra into a military base. The specter of Russia establishing a military base in Libya also haunts the U.S. and NATO.

An emerging "consensus" seems to be emerging between Ankara, Brussels and Washington that any moves to establish a Russian military base in Libya must be preempted.

This would weaken the alliance’s dominance of the Mediterranean while Russia strengthens its presence in the eastern Mediterranean.

On paper, as the NATO proxy, this would challenge Turkey’s historical preeminence in the region. Wink-wink, a big contingent of Turkish forces and large quantities of weapons and aircraft have been transported audaciously across the Mediterranean along sea lanes and air space that are closely monitored by NATO, European Union and the United States. Yet, there has not been a single instance of interception—although there is a UN embargo on arms supplies to Libya.

Then after 3.5 years of neglect, a Jun 8, 2020 call by Trump to Egypt and Turkey. Egypt could attack Libya and "support" Haftar - getting its own pound of flesh, as it sees an increasing revenues from oil and gas.

Erdogan the smooth bastard, sucked up to Trump as fear factor of Russia is shared by both. Erdogan claimed that a “new era can begin” in Turkish-American relations. He hangs the bait of Sirte - "regions where oil wells are located. It will be much more comfortable as soon as they are handled.”

Turkey’s belligerence has prompted Greece, its perennial rival, to enter the fray, which puts two NATO countries at loggerheads.

--- Turkey Bullies - Erdogan and his Oligarchs

Mavi Vatan

Mavi Vatan, or Blue Homeland is Turkey’s ambitious 14-year-old plan for geopolitical supremacy in the eastern Mediterranean.

  1. longstanding fight with Greece over divided Cyprus
  2. Competition with Greece and neighbours Egypt, Israel and Lebanon over oil and gas drilling rights.

Support Invaders with Arms and Mercenary fighters

  • Turkey military recruiters attract and are transplanting 10,000+ jobless and Syrian fighters from Idlib (trapped by Assad/SDF forces) to Tripoli to aid "someone else's" war. Recruiters promised nice jobs in a "support line or medical units working for good money, but the fighting here is worse than anything I experienced in Syria. It’s all close combat in narrow streets."

Turkey's proxy wars in Syria, Kurdish rebels, Somalia and Yemen

Turkey is already battling both the regime and Kurdish militias in Syria.

In addition Turkey is over-extended, eg even countering the UAE’s influence in Somalia and across the Horn of Africa.

Greedy Countries fighting over Spoils

Greece Opposes Turkey Mediterranean

Greece has angrily rejected a Turkish claim to exclusive drilling rights in the Mediterranean, and formally asked for Turkish behaviour to be on the agenda of Monday’s meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers.

June'20 a standoff between Greek and Turkish ships in the Mediterranean narrowly avoided boiling over into a conflict over Turkish efforts to supply arms to Libya’s UN-recognised government. as a Greek helicopter, operating under the aegis of a European Union operation to enforce a UN arms embargo, moved to interrupt a Turkish cargo ship bound for Libya.

This episode highlights the risk in allowing Greece to take a prominent role in the EU’s arms embargo enforcement since Greece is not seen by Turkey as a neutral party, but instead an opponent of the Turkish-GNA alliance that has swung the civil war away from Haftar over the last month.

Egypt - Actively supporting Haftar

Amid concerns that Egypt would be willing to send ground troops into the country to prevent a rout of its ally Khalifa Haftar, the leader of forces in the east.

The US is anxious to ensure that Cairo does not send its own troops over the border into Libya. So, Trump’s surprise intervention asking for a cease fire came in a phone call to the Egyptian president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi June 10, 2020.

Italy - Original Colonialist - Still seeks to benefit from oil

Greece signed a rival exclusive drilling agreement with Italy in the Ionian Sea on Tuesday, showing how the Libyan conflict has spilled into the wider Mediterranean.

Israel claims, Is it being too clever by playing both Greece and Turkey off?

Israel hesitates to battle Turkey - the local bully and gorilla (also helping keep the Shiite/Syrian forces at bay) Any oil/gas profits would be wiped out by war costs. However, by "collaborating with Turkey" it could get an inside route by providing knowhow, oil-company connections (Israel would provide security/guarantees). All for pennies on the dollar of brute force military action which even Israel could not win.

Rumors currently abound in diplomatic circles that Turkey and Israel are seeking to restore full diplomatic ties. This could explain the foot dragging by Trump administration which is basically controlled by Saudi but even more by Israel/Sheldon Adelson lobbyists.

Puppeteers Fat, Rich and Lazy: USA, EU and Mideast Opportunists and Fence sitters

EU sits on the fence - not censuring Turkey, hopes for cheaper oil/gas

  • EU’s Operation Irini

    Irini’s rules of engagement give it the power to inspect ships on the high seas and if necessary divert the ship.

Impotent UN arms embargo on Libya

The embargo may as well not exist: armed groups with fickle loyalties and a penchant for kidnapping ransoms have proliferated over the past nine years.

Trump Administration slept 2017-2020

  • The Trump administration has been largely disengaged from Libya, except when Egypt moved to counter Turkish advances, when it pushed for a ceasefire. In effect US helped Turkey consolidate its position.

USA and Anglo-Allies role in Libya, Slowly support Israeli claims

  • Jun 10, 2020 Trump joined the calls for a ceasefire in Libya pressuring both Egypt (whom US gives billions in aid) and Turkey's Erdogan.
  • Trump's US military command in Africa warned that Russia, which supports Haftar, was pouring fighter planes into the country, and possibly seeking to establish a permanent airbase.
  • The Trump administration has been largely disengaged from Libya
  • Rabid Hillary Clinton joins with France to knife Gaddafi and devaste Libya

---- Libya an Ancient Civilization, Lots of Invaders

700 BC - Phoenicians settle

Phoenicians settle in Tripolitania in western Libya, which was hitherto populated by Berbers.

600 BC - Carthage conquers Tripolitania.

400 BC - Greeks colonise Cyrenaica

Greeks conquered Cyrenaica in the east of the country, which they call Libya.

74 BC - Romans conquer Libya.

AD 643 - Arabs conquer Libya

Arabs under Amr Ibn al-As conquer Libya and spread Islam.

1500s Libya part of the Ottoman Empire

This joined the three provinces of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan into one regency in Tripoli.

1911 Italian rule till WWII

  • 1911-12 - Italy seizes Libya from the Ottomans. Omar al-Mukhtar begins 20-year insurgency against Italian rule.
  • 1920s - Libyan resistance grows as Senussi dynasty joins in alongside the Mukhtar campaign.
  • 1931 - Italy breaks resistance through combination of major armed operations and concentration camps for rebel population. Al-Mukhtar is captured and executed.
  • 1934 - Italy unites the provinces as the colony of Libya and steps up Italian migration as part of an eventual plan for the incorporation of Libya into a Greater Italy.

1942 France and British divide up Libya

  • 1942 - Allies oust Italians from Libya, Libya is then divided between the French, who administer Fezzan, and the British, who control Cyrenaica and Tripolitania.

1951 Independence, US companies gain oil rights

  • 1951 - Libya becomes independent under King Idris al-Sanusi.
  • 1956 - Libya grants two American oil companies a concession of some 14 million acres.
  • 1961 - King Idris opens a 104-mile pipeline, which links important oil fields in the interior to the Mediterranean Sea
  • This is significant as it made it possible to export Libyan oil for the first time.

1969-1980 Gaddafi era till Jimmy Carter

  • 1969 - 1970 King Idris deposed in military coup led by Col Muammar Gaddafi
  • He introduces state socialism by nationalising most economic activity, including the oil industry.
  • Libya orders the closure of a British airbase in Tobruk
  • He orders closure the giant US Wheelus air force base in Tripoli
  • property belonging to Italian settlers nationalised.

  • 1971 - National referendum approves proposed Federation of Arab Republics (FAR) comprising Libya, Egypt and Syria.

  • He pursues a pan-Arab agenda by attempting to form mergers with several Arab countries,

1973 - Col Gaddafi declares a "cultural revolution", which includes the formation of "people's committees" in schools, hospitals, universities, workplaces and administrative districts; Libyan forces occupy Aozou Strip in northern Chad.

1977 - Col Gaddafi declares a "people's revolution", changing the country's official name from the Libyan Arab Republic to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah and setting up "revolutionary committees" - heralding the start of institutionalised chaos, economic decline and general arbitrariness.

1980 - Libyan troops intervene in civil war in northern Chad.

1981-1984 Reagan US/UK Gang up on Gaddafi, UN Sanctions

Until Carter, the West was seen as passive but then the Shah was deposed, and as oil prices rose rapidly. So West hates Gaddafi like the Iranians.

  • 1981 - US shoots down two Libyan aircraft which challenged its warplanes over the Gulf of Sirte, claimed by Libya as its territorial water.
  • 1984 - UK breaks off diplomatic relations with Libya after a British policewoman is shot dead outside the Libyan embassy in London while anti-Gaddafi protests were taking place.
  • 1986 - US bombs Libyan military facilities, residential areas of Tripoli and Benghazi, killing 101 people, and Gaddafi's house, killing his adopted daughter. US says raids were in response to alleged Libyan involvement in bombing of Berlin disco frequented by US military personnel.
  • 1989 - Libya, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia form the Arab Maghreb Union.
  • 1994 - Libya returns the Aozou Strip to Chad.
  • 2000 September - Dozens of African immigrants are killed by Libyan mobs in the west of Libya who were said to be angry at the large number of African labourers coming into the country.
  • 2001 May - Libyan troops help to quell a coup attempt against President Ange-Felix Patasse of the Central African Republic.

Libya mistake: Terrorist Response - Lockerbie bombing saga, Libya pays $2.7b and admits fault

  • 1988 December - Lockerbie bombing - an airliner is blown up over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, allegedly by Libyan agents.
  • 1992 - UN imposes sanctions on Libya in an effort to force it to hand over for trial two of its citizens suspected of involvement in the Lockerbie bombing.
  • 1995 - Gaddafi expels some 30,000 Palestinians in protest at the Oslo accords between the Palestine Liberation Organisation and Israel.
  • 1999 - Lockerbie suspects handed over for trial in the Netherlands under Scottish law; UN sanctions suspended; diplomatic relations with UK restored.
  • 2001 31 January- Lockerbie sentence. Special Scottish court in the Netherlands finds one of the two Libyans accused of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdelbaset Ali Mohamed al-Megrahi, guilty and sentences him to life imprisonment. Megrahi's co-accused, Al-Amin Khalifa Fahimah, is found not guilty and freed.
  • 2002 14 March - The Libyan man found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi, loses his appeal against the conviction and begins a life sentence of at least 20 years.
  • 2003 August - Libya signs a deal worth $2.7bn to compensate families of the Lockerbie bombing victims. Libya takes responsibility for the bombing in a letter to the UN Security Council.
  • 2004 August - Libya agrees to pay $35m to compensate victims of the bombing of a Berlin nightclub in 1986.
  • 2009 August - Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi is freed from gaol in Scotland on compassionate grounds and returned to Libya. His release and return to a hero's welcome causes a storm of controversy.

2002 Thaw under Bush Jr, Return to International Respectability as Libyan Oil flows

  • 2002 January - Libya and the US say they have held talks to mend relations after years of hostility over what the Americans termed Libya's sponsorship of terrorism.
  • 2003 January - Libya is elected chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission despite opposition from the US and human rights groups.
  • 2003 September - UN Security Council votes to lift sanctions.
  • 2003 December - Libya says will abandon programmes to develop weapons of mass destruction.
  • 2004 January - Libya agrees to compensate families of victims of 1989 bombing of French passenger aircraft over Sahara.
  • 2004 March - British Prime Minister Tony Blair visits, the first such visit since 1943.
  • 2004 May - Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor are sentenced to death having been accused of deliberately infecting some 400 children with HIV. They are eventually freed under a deal with the EU.
  • 2005 January - Libya's first auction of oil and gas exploration licences heralds the return of US energy companies for the first time in more than 20 years.
  • 2006 February - At least 10 people are killed in clashes with police in Benghazi, part of a wave of international protests by Muslims who are angered by a Danish newspaper's cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
  • 2006 May - The US says it is restoring full diplomatic ties with Libya.
  • 2008 January - Libya takes over one-month rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in a step back to respectability after decades as a pariah of the West.
  • 2008 August - Libya and US sign agreement committing each side to compensate all victims of bombing attacks on the other's citizens.
  • Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi apologises to Libya for damage inflicted by Italy during the colonial era and signs a five billion dollar investment deal by way of compensation.
  • 2008 September - US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice makes historic visit - the highest-level US visit to Libya since 1953. Ms Rice says relations between the US and Libya have entered a "new phase".
  • 2009 February - Gaddafi elected chairman of the African Union by leaders meeting in Ethiopia. Sets out ambition of "United States of Africa" even embracing the Caribbean.
  • 2009 June - Gaddafi pays first state visit to Italy, Libya's former colonial ruler and now its main trading partner.

2010 Reversion and Arab Spring

  • 2010 January - Russia agrees to sell Libya weapons in a deal worth $1.8bn. The deal is thought to include fighter jets, tanks and air defence systems.
  • 2010 June - UN refugee agency UNHCR expelled.
  • 2010 June - BP confirms it is about to begin drilling off Libyan coast.
  • 2010 October - European Union and Libya sign agreement designed to slow illegal migration.

2011 Arab uprising, Benghazi rally, embassy attacks

Feb. 15-16 In Benghazi, a small rally demanded the release of a human-rights lawyer and condemned a prison massacre. The civil protest grew into a large anti-Qaddafi demonstration.

Police and government forcibly tried to quash it and hundreds of protesters were killed. Justice Minister Mustafa Abdel Jalil and Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younes defected to join the protesters.

Feb. 25 2011. The United States closed its embassy in Tripoli and imposed unilateral sanctions against Libya, freezing $30 billion in government assets. - On Feb. 26, the United Nations imposed sanctions on Libya and then referred Qaddafi to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

UN Role - controlled by USA, pretext for US/Nato interference

  • March 17 UN voted in favor of “all necessary measures short of an occupation force,” to protect Libyan civilians, effectively sanctioning a no-fly zone During the 2011 Libyan uprising, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1973 which called for a ceasefire and authorized military action to protect civilian lives. A coalition formed, centered around NATO with the March 17, 2011 passing of the Resolution. Its purpose – a so-called “no-fly zone” over Libya. The irony that the U.S.-dominated NATO military organization would be concerned with “protecting” Arab civilians is all too obvious since the United States is the nation most responsible for killing Arab civilians.

  • May 15 UN's ICC issued arrest warrants for Qaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi.

  • EU Feb. 28 The European Union sanctioned, embargoed arms sales, froze assets and banned visas for senior Libyan officials.

Arabs League - Controlled by Saudi, Egypt

The Arab League is a union of Arab-speaking African and Asian countries. It was formed in Cairo in 1945 to promote the independence, sovereignty, affairs and interests of its 22 member countries and four observers. The 22 members of the Arab League as of 2018 were Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The four observers are Brazil, Eritrea, India and Venezuela.

In 1945, League was formed, the prominent issues were freeing the Arab countries that were still under colonial rule and preventing the Jewish community in Palestine from creating a Jewish state. However, the league's actions are mostly limited to the issuing of impotent declarations. One exception was an economic boycott of Israel between 1948 and 1993.

During the 1950s through early 1980s Cold War, some members were supportive of the Soviet Union while others aligned with Western nations.

There has also been rivalry over leadership, for example, between Egypt and Iraq.

Clashing personalities and hostilities between monarchies such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco have been disruptive.

Instability and political change created more stress for the Arab League such as Egypt under Gamal Abdel Nasser, Baathist Syria and Iraq and Libya under Muammar Gaddafi.

  • The Arab League united behind Saudi/Egypt to back UN action against Libya. The league had earlier suspended Libya's membership. Now March 12 it asked the U.N. Security Council to declare a no-fly zone.

Obama/Hillary Clinton gets NATO (mainly France Air Force) to bomb Gaddafi and devaste Libya

  • USA March 3 President Obama called on Qaddafi to step down, saying his regime has “lost the legitimacy to lead.” The National Transitional Council announced that it would have 30 members and be chaired by Mustafa Abdel Jalil, Qaddafi’s former justice minister.

  • NATO/Hillary/France - March 19-21 2011 - NATO launched air strikes.

  • On March 21, NATO strikes destroyed a building in Qaddafi’s compound.

"Mild" Opposition to 2011 Bombings - China, Russia and Germany

Five members abstained, including China, Russia and Germany.

Ouster of Muammar Qaddafi eight months later by Armed (by whom?) Rebels

  • July 6 2011 - Rebels launched a two-pronged offensive against government forces from Misrata and the mountains southwest of Tripoli. Rebels seized al Qawalish and Kikla, 60 miles southwest of the capital.

  • Aug. 20 Rebels took control of Zawiyah, 30 miles west of Tripoli.

  • Aug 22 Rebels took Tripoli after encountering little resistance. Qaddafi broadcasted a call for help. On the following day, rebels entered Qaddafi’s military compound at Bab al-Azizia.
  • Aug. 24 Rebels began battling in Sabha, in the southwest, and the port city of Zuwarah in the northwest, two Qaddafi strongholds.
  • Aug. 26 The NTC said it would move its headquarters from Benghazi to Tripoli, the capital. On September 9, Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril arrived in Tripoli.
  • September-October Rebels captured several Qaddafi strongholds.
  • Oct. 14 Battles erupted in Tripoli neighborhoods between rebels and pro-Qadaffi forces.

Oct 20 Qaddafi killed - Rabid Hillary blood thirsty celebration - I am a vicious broad!

  • Oct. 20 Qaddafi captured as he tried to flee Sirte and was killed by rebels, who documented the event with cell phones. His son Mutassim was also captured and killed. Both bodies were publicly displayed in a refrigerated meat store in Misrata.
  • Nov. 19 Saif al-Islam, Qaddafi's son and heir apparent, was captured.

NTC goes all-out Sharia, UN butts out

  • July end, The U.S. and the international contact group recognized the NTC in Benghazi as the “legitimate authority” in Libya.
  • Aug. 8 The NTC dissolved its cabinet after the rebel military commander, Abdel Fattah Younes, was killed.
  • Aug. 18 The NTC released a draft constitution for post-Qaddafi Libya.
  • Sept. 16 Pushed by US's Susan Rice, United Nations accepted the NTC as Libya’s representative and removed some sanctions.
  • Oct. 3 NTC announced that it would disband and begin the elections process if Sirte were to fall. Mahmoud Jibril was named interim prime minister.
  • Oct. 23 Large celebrations were held in Benghazi as NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil announced that Libya had been liberated. He said that Sharia law would be the “main source” of legislation.
  • Oct. 31 NATO ended its mission in Libya. The NTC elected Abdurraheem el Keib, a dual U.S.-Libya citizen, as interim prime minister.
  • Nov Battles between rival militias and tribes broke out in Tripoli and continued sporadically across Libya until June 2012. The new army and NTC members intervened to restore peace.

2012 Fragmentation - Libya Slowly falls apart after Government destroyed - Tribal Politics re-emerge after Gaddaffi

NTC falls apart slowly as provinces, rebels, tribes split off

2012 Democratic Election

In Libya’s first democratic election, voters largely opted for a secular government.

However the transition was undermined by rivalries among secular parties, Islamists and independents coupled with escalating clashes among the new militias.

Muslim Brotherhood

  • Nov. 17 In Benghazi, the Muslim Brotherhood held its first public conference after being banned for decades.
  • Nov. 22 Interim Prime Minister el-Keib appointed a new cabinet.
  • Dec. 9-13 The First National Congress for Libyan Reconciliation and Reconstruction was held in Tripoli.

Misrata splits

Feb. 20 Misrata 2011 held local council elections, independent of the NTC.

Eastern oil-rich Cyrenaica including Benghazi declares Autonomy

  • March 6 2012 Despite protests against them, leaders declared the province to be semi-autonomous.
  • On March 7, NTC Chairman Jalil vowed to use force if necessary to prevent Cyrenaica from becoming autonomous.

2014, parliament was plagued by political gridlock

  • May 2014 Haftar attacks Bengazi radicals Operation Dignity offensive in Benghazi when General Khalifa Haftar's forces assaulted the bases of certain Benghazi Islamist militia groups, including the one blamed for the 2012 assassination of US ambassador Christopher Stevens. Haftar also vowed not to stop until the extremist groups are purged.

Parliament was plagued by political gridlock. Voter turnout dropped to only 18 percent in the 2014 poll from almost 62 percent in the 2012 election.

2014-15 UN Peace Brokering to freeze "status quo"

  1. Through 2014+ the United Nations attempted to broker peace among Libya’s other warring factions.

  2. December 2015, via the Libyan Political Agreement, a U.N.-brokered deal to integrate the eastern and western factions in a new Government of National Accord (GNA). The rival governments in Tripoli and Tobruk initially resisted power-sharing.

  3. In early 2016, the new GNA set up shop in the Libyan capital. The Islamist regime in Tripoli soon ceded power to it, but the eastern House of Representatives based in Tobruk refused to accept the U.N.-backed government. The rivalry between the eastern and western sectors intensified.

Both governments were soon forced to turn their attention to the Islamic State’s growing presence. In April 2016, the GNA launched Operation “Impenetrable Wall” (al-Bunyan al-Marsoos) to expel the Islamic State from Sirte, Qaddafi’s hometown. In the east, General Haftar expanded his campaign against Islamists to Derna.

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