Libya (Arabic: Libya), officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeriaand Tunisia to the west. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the 17th largest country in the world.
The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is home to 1.7 million of Libya's 6.4 million people. In 2009 Libya had the highest HDI in Africa and the fifth highest GDP (PPP) per capita in Africa, behind Equatorial Guinea, Seychelles, Gabon, and Botswana. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world and the 17th-highest petroleum production.
A civil war and NATO-led military intervention in 2011 resulted in the ousting and death of the country's former leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and the collapse of his 42-year "First of September 'Al Fateh' Revolution" and 34-year-old Jamahiriya state. As a result, Libya is currently undergoing political reconstruction, and is governed under an interim constitution drawn up by the National Transitional Council(NTC). Elections to a General National Congress were held on 7 July 2012, and the NTC handed power to the newly elected assembly on 8 August. The assembly has the responsibility of forming a constituent assembly to draft a permanent constitution for Libya, which will then be put to a referendum.
Libya gained independence in 1951 as the United Libyan Kingdom , changing its name to the Kingdom of Libya in 1963. Following a coup d'état led by Muammar Gaddafi in 1969, the name of the state was changed to the Libyan Arab Republic . The official name was "Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" from 1977 to 1986, and "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahir
from 1986 to 2011.
The National Transitional Council, established in 2011, referred to the state as simply "Libya". The UN formally recognized the country as "Libya" in September 2011, based on a request from the Permanent Mission of Libya citing the Libyan interim Constitutional Declaration of 3 August 2011. In November 2011, the ISO 3166-1 was altered to reflect the new country name "Libya" in English, "Libye (la)" in French.
The current name, "State of Libya" , was adopted unanimously by the General National Congress in January 2013.
In 630 BC, the Ancient Greeks colonized Eastern Libya and founded the city of Cyrene. Within 200 years, four more important Greek cities were established in the area that became known as Cyrenaica. In 525 BC the Persian army of Cambyses II overran Cyrenaica, which for the next two centuries remained under Persian or Egyptian rule. Alexander the Great was greeted by the Greeks when he entered Cyrenaica in 331 BC, and Eastern Libya again fell under the control of the Greeks, this time as part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom.
- .1 Ancient Libya
- .2 Islamic Libya
- .3 Ottoman Tripolitania
- .4 Italian Libya
- .5 Independence
- .6 Revolution
- .7 Post-revolution era
- In June 1940, Italy entered World War II. Libya became the setting for the hard-fought North African Campaign that ultimately ended in defeat for Italy and its German ally in 1943.From 1943 to 1951, Libya was under Allied occupation. The British military administered the two former Italian Libyan provinces of Tripolitana and Cyrenaïca, while the French administered the province of Fezzan. In 1944, Idris returned from exile in Cairo but declined to resume permanent residence in Cyrenaica until the removal of some aspects of foreign control in 1947. Under the terms of the 1947 peace treaty with the Allies, Italy relinquished all claims to Libya.
On 24 December 1951, Libya declared its independence as the United Kingdom of Libya, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris (left), Libya's only monarch. The discovery of significant oil reserves in 1959 and the subsequent income from petroleum sales enabled one of the world's poorest nations to establish an extremely wealthy state. Although oil drastically improved the Libyan government's finances, resentment among some factions began to build over the increased concentration of the nation's wealth in the hands of King Idris.
- On 1 September 1969, a small group of military officers led by 27-year-old army officer Muammar Gaddafi staged acoup d'état against King Idris, launching the 'Al Fateh' Revolution. Gaddafi (right) was referred to as the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution" in government statements and the official Libyan press.
- On 24 December 1951, Libya declared its independence as the United Kingdom of Libya, a constitutional and hereditary monarchy under King Idris, Libya's only monarch. The discovery of significant oil reserves in 1959 and the subsequent income from petroleum sales enabled one of the world's poorest nations to establish an extremely wealthy state. Although oil drastically improved the Libyan government's finances, resentment among some factions began to build over the increased concentration of the nation's wealth in the hands of King Idris.On 1 September 1969, a small group of military officers led by 27-year-old army officer Muammar Gaddafi staged acoup d'état against King Idris, launching the 'Al Fateh' Revolution. Gaddafi was referred to as the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution" in government statements and the official Libyan press.In 1977, Libya officially became the "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya". Gaddafi officially passed power to the General People's Committees and henceforth claimed to be no more than a symbolic figurehead, but domestic and international critics claimed the reforms gave him virtually unlimited power. Dissidents against the new system were not tolerated, with punitive actions including capital punishment authorized by Gaddafi himself. The new "jamahiriya" governance .structure he established was officially referred to as a form of direct democracy,though the government refused to publish election results.In February 1977, Libya started delivering military supplies to Goukouni Oueddei and the People's Armed Forces in Chad. The Chadian–Libyan conflictbegan in earnest when Libya's support of rebel forces in northern Chad escalated into an invasion. Later that same year, Libya and Egypt fought a four-day border war that came to be known as the Libyan-Egyptian War, both nations agreed to a ceasefire under the mediation of the Algerian president Houari Boumediène. Hundreds of Libyans lost their lives in the war against Tanzania, when Gaddafi tried to save his friend Idi Amin. Gaddafi financed various other groups from anti-nuclear movements to Australian trade unions.From 1977 onward, per capita income in the country rose to more than US $11,000, the fifth-highest in Africa, while the Human Development Index became the highest in Africa and greater than that of Saudi Arabia. This was achieved without borrowing any foreign loans, keeping Libya debt-free. The Great Manmade River was also built to allow free access to fresh water across large parts of the country. In addition, financial support was provided for university scholarships and employment programs.Much of the country’s income from oil, which soared in the 1970s, was spent on arms purchases and on sponsoring dozens of paramilitaries and terrorist groups around the world. An airstrike failed to kill Gaddafi in 1986. Libya was finally put under United Nations sanctions after the bombing of a commercial flight killed hundreds of travellers.Gaddafi assumed the honorific title of "King of Kings of Africa" in 2008 as part of his campaign for a United States of Africa. By the early 2010s, in addition to attempting to assume a leadership role in the African Union, Libya was also viewed as having formed closer ties with Italy, one of its former colonial rulers, than any other country in the European Union.The eastern parts of the country have been "ruined" due to Gaddafi's economic theories, according to The Economist.
- After the Arab Spring movements overturned the rulers of Tunisia and Egypt, Libya experienced a full-scale revolt beginning on 17 February 2011. By 20 February, the unrest had spread to Tripoli. On 27 February 2011, the National Transitional Council was established to administer the areas of Libya under rebel control. On 10 March 2011, France became the first state to officially recognise the council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.Pro-Gaddafi forces were able to respond militarily to rebel pushes in Western Libya and launched a counterattack along the coast toward Benghazi, the de facto centre of the uprising. The town of Zawiya, 48 kilometres (30 mi) from Tripoli, was bombarded by air force planes and army tanks and seized by Jamahiriya troops, "exercising a level of brutality not yet seen in the conflict."Organs of the United Nations, including United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations Human Rights Council, condemned the crackdown as violating international law, with the latter body expelling Libya outright in an unprecedented action urged by Libya's own delegation to the UN.On 17 March 2011 the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 with a 10–0 vote and five abstentions. The resolution sanctioned the establishment of a no-fly zone and the use of "all means necessary" to protect civilians within Libya. On 19 March, the first Allied act to secure the no-fly zone began when French military jets entered Libyan airspace on areconnaissance mission heralding attacks on enemy targets. By 22 AuguThe liberation of Libya was celebrated on 23 October 2011, three days after the fall of Sirte. At least 30,000 Libyans died in the civil war.
Post-revolution eraOn 7 July 2012, Libyans voted in their first parliamentary elections since the end of Gaddafi's rule. On 8 August 2012, the National Transitional Council officially handed power to the wholly elected General National Congress, which was tasked with the formation of an interim government and the drafting of a new Libyan Constitution to be approved in a general referendum.On 25 August 2012, in what "appears to be the most blatant sectarian attack" since the end of the civil war, unnamed organized assailants bulldozed a Sufi mosque with graves, in broad daylight in the center of the Libyan capital Tripoli. It was the second such razing of a Sufi site in two days.On 11 September 2012, the 2012 Benghazi attack occurred, in which Islamic militants were able to successfully attack the American consulate in Benghazi and to kill the American ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.On 7 October 2012, Libya's Prime Minister-elect Mustafa A.G. Abushagur stepped down after failing a second time to win parliamentary approval for a new cabinet. On 14 October 2012, the General National Congress elected former GNC member and human rights lawyer Ali Zeidan as prime minister-designate. Zeidan was sworn in after his cabinet was approved by the GNC.On 25 March 2014 the Libyan government opened the debate on the restoration of the monarchy in the country. "The restoration of the monarchy is the solution that will guarantee the return to security and stability. Contacts have already been made, and we are in touch with dignitaries and tribal chiefs in Libya, and also with the grandson of King Al-Senussi, Prince Mohamed, who lives overseas," said the Libyan Foreign Minister, Mohamed Abdelaziz, during the meeting.
- st 2011, rebel fighters had entered Tripoli and occupied Green Square, which they renamed Martyrs' Square in honour of those killed since 17 February 2011. On 20 October 2011 the last heavy fighting of the revolution came to an end in the city of Sirte, and Gadhafi, who had fled to Sirte was both captured and then killed by his rebel captors..
- On 7 July 2012, Libyans voted in parliamentary elections, the first free elections in almost 40 years. Around thirty women were elected to become members of parliament. Early results of the vote showed the National Forces Alliance, led by former interim Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, as front runner. The Justice and Construction Party, affiliated to theMuslim Brotherhood, has done less well than similar parties in Egypt and Tunisia. It won 17 out of 80 seats that were contested by parties, but about 60 independents have since joined its caucus.As of January 2013, there was mounting public pressure on the National Congress to set up a drafting body to create a new constitution. Congress had not yet decided whether the members of the body would be elected or appointed.Following the 2012 elections, Freedom House improved Libya's rating from Not Free to Partly Free, and now considers the country to be an electoral democracy.
and largest city
Official languages Arabic[a] Spoken languages Demonym Libyan Government Unitary provisionalparliamentary republic - President of the General National Congress Nouri Abusahmain - Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq Legislature General National Congress Formation - Independencefrom Italy 10 February 1947 - Released fromBritish and Frenchoversight[b] 24 December 1951 - Coup d'état by Muammar Gaddafi 1 September 1969 - Revolution Day 17 February 2011 - Battle of Tripoli 28 August 2011 - Handover to theGeneral National Congress 8 August 2012 Area - Total 1,759,541 km2 (17th)
679,359 sq mi
Population - 2006 census 5,670,688 [c] - Density 3.6/km2 (218th)
GDP (PPP) 2012 estimate - Total $95.941 billion (74th) - Per capita $18,129 (54th) GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate - Total $90.691 billion (64th) - Per capita $14,500 (50th) HDI (2013) 0.769
high · 64th
Currency Libyan dinar (
Time zone CET (UTC+1) - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2) Drives on the right Calling code 218 ISO 3166 code LY Internet TLD .ly.