Libya. According to CountryAAH, Tripoli is the capital city of Libya. 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 Darfur conflict.
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 agricultural production.
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 outside.
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.