Libya. According to
CountryAAH, five Bulgarian nurses and one Bulgarian doctor
with a Palestinian background, who were all sentenced to
death for having infected Libyan children with HIV, were
released in July after eight years in prison. On July 11,
the country's highest court ruled the death sentences, but
just a week later another body turned the sentences into
life imprisonment. It was reported that that decision came
since the Benghazi International Fund, funded by a. The EU,
the US and Bulgaria had paid close to SEK 3 billion in
compensation to relatives of the more than 400 infected
children. French President Cecilia Sarkozy visited Libya's
leader Muammar al-Khadaffi twice in the case. On her last
visit, together with EU Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner,
Libya agreed to extradite the six to Bulgaria in exchange
for a series of pledges from the EU. a. care for the
infected children in Europe and contributions to a new
anti-AIDS program in Libya. Reportedly, Ferrero-Waldner also
promised increased EU imports of Libyan agricultural
products and more generous visa rules for Libyans. The six
flew to Bulgaria on July 24 and were immediately pardoned by
the country's president. Al-Khadaffi's son Seif al-Islam later confirmed that torture
had been used to get the six to admit that they had
intentionally infected the children. The day after the
release, President Sarkozy visited Libya. The countries
agreed on cooperation in the areas of defense, health care,
education and nuclear energy. The French Ministry of Defense
confirmed that it had agreed that Libya could buy
armor-breaking missiles from France.
Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair visited Libya on May
19 and then spoke with al-Khadaffi about closer cooperation
in intelligence and counter-terrorism operations.
Libya introduced new passport rules in November, without
warning, which meant that travelers whose passports were not
translated into Arabic were denied entry. Hundreds of
tourists were allowed to turn around the border, despite
having a visa.
Libya was elected to the UN Security Council on October
16 for the next two years. There was no challenger to the
site as Africa had agreed to nominate Libya and Burkina Faso
for the two African sites to be added.
During the fall, al-Khadaffi became a mediator in the
1969 The junior officers coup
During the June 1967 war (see Israel,
Egypt ), the United States used the Libyan bases for its
flight trips to support Israel. This provided the final
shock to the young officers' coup plans. During his military
studies in London in 1966, Gaddafi already established the
Union of Free Officers. Returning to Libya, he continued his
conspiratorial work in the military and further developed
the coup plans. They were completed in September 1969, and
were welcomed by the people.
The new Revolutionary Council under the leadership of
Gaddafi declared himself Muslim, Nazi and Socialist. The
Council immediately began to remove the traces of Western
influence - of immoral and corrupt conduct. Public
inscriptions written in Latin were replaced by Arabic
characters. English teaching was reduced. Advertising signs
were removed and alcohol bans introduced. Business profits
were cut and ministers 'salaries halved, while workers'
minimum wages doubled. Within a year, the Americans were out
of the Wheelus base - a major military support point for the
US 6th Navy operating in the Mediterranean.
The fight against the oil companies began cautiously with
demands for more Libyan employees, better housing conditions
and a national gasoline distribution. The oil companies'
response was to stop their investments. In the summer of
1973, therefore, the government nationalized 51% of the
shares in the companies. In February 1974, private Libyan
shares were taken over. The increased oil revenues were used
for development projects where agriculture was given a high
priority. Each family in the countryside was given the right
to 10 acres of land, a tractor, housing, tools and
irrigation. More than 1,500 new wells were drilled and 2
million hectares of desert were irrigated and included in
However, a serious problem was the lack of local labor.
Virtually all important technical and administrative
functions had to be performed by foreign qualified workers:
Egyptians, Palestinians and Tunisians.
In the cities, a social care system was set up with free
medical care and support for families with children.
Industrial workers were allocated 25% of corporate profits.
According to official information, investment in
manufacturing was 11 times greater than under the monarchy
and in agriculture was 30. The consequence of the
development plan was that over 5 years, the country went
from being North Africa's poorest country to becoming the
continent's richest with an average annual income. at US $
4,000 per capita.
The uprising in Libya started with political protests
against the regime in February 2011. What soon developed
into a national uprising started locally in Benghazi in the
east, where for some years there had been some degree of
open resistance to the regime - military and civilian.
Benghazi is located in Kyrenaika; The core area of the
Gadaffi monarchy collapsed in 1969. Here, conservative,
Islamist forces stood strongest, and opposition to the
radical Gaddafi regime was also greatest.
The demonstrations that initiated the uprising were based
on claims made by relatives of prisoners who were killed
during riots in 1996 at Abu Slim prison in Tripoli, most of
whom were Islamists. Attorney Fathi Terbil became involved
in the case, and for five years before the uprising, a group
of relatives held silent protests. Terbil mobilized for a
major protest on February 17, 2011, and was arrested on
February 15. This led to the first demonstrations during the
uprising, 15-16. February, with daily protests in Benghazi;
then in several other cities.
The demonstrations came as a surprise to the regime.
Prior to the scheduled demonstrations on February 17,
Gaddafi sought to dampen the situation and avert a riot. He
warned against stirring up the situation and promised
reforms. The first two days of protests, protesters were met
with tear gas and fired with rubber bullets; February 17
with sharp ammunition. The first demonstrations in Tripoli
took place on February 20, after the regime mobilized
supporters for support demonstrations. Here too, security
forces opened fire, while protesters attacked police
stations and public offices.
The conflict was escalated early, with violence from both
sides. The government forces used violence in part to
prevent insurgents from attacking military camps to obtain
weapons. Insurgents were early supplied with weapons also by
military units passing to them and by deliveries from
As the conflict spread, the rebellion became better
organized. Locally, city councils were established in cities
taken over by rebels. At the national level, a transitional
council - the National Transitional Council of
Libya (NTC) - was established in Benghazi, chaired by
former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil. From March,
several countries chose to recognize the NTC as the
legitimate representative of the Libyan people; others
established contact with the council, which eventually
became an opposition government.
On February 20, Saif al-Islam, Muammar al-Gaddafi's son,
warned that continued conflict would lead to civil war along
regional and tribal divides. Declarations that the regime
would not yield, and alleged military attacks against
civilians, led the UN Security Council to signal a no- fly
zone and authorize an international military intervention -
specifically to protect civilians.
The rebels were initially civilians. When military
officers went over to the rebel side, with wards and
weapons, the rebels could establish a defense against the
government forces - and even go to the offensive. The first
few days there were, among other things, fighting over the
Katiba military settlement in Benghazi.
Disengaged regime officers created the Free Libya Armed
Forces rebel force, as well as the Free Libya Air Force,
based in Benghazi. The military rebel forces were led by
former Interior Minister Abdel Fattah Younis, one of the
coup makers from 1969. The rebels took control of military
installations with weapons, especially in the east. Many
civilians were armed, and the rebels were given a military
weight that led them to the offensive initially - before the
regime launched counter-attacks. Weapons on both sides soon
reached military meetings, and the initially peaceful revolt
developed into civil war.
The partial disintegration of the regime's military
structure in Kyrenaika led the rebels to take control of
Benghazi, and from there moved west towards Brega. Insurgent
forces continued to Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad. The advance was
met with opposition from the regime and initiated the civil
war phase in the uprising.