Libya History

By | January 9, 2023

Libya – national flag

Libya National Flag

Since independence as a kingdom in 1951, Libya has had several flags; In 1972-77, the country’s flag was the same as that of Egypt and Syria, but when Egypt made peace with Israel, Libya changed its flag to a solid green. After the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, the original flag, from the Kingdom of Libya, was re-elected.

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Libya – prehistory

Human remains dating back to 500,000 BC. The different cultures have from approximately 9000 BC left carvings in stone showing virtually all the local hunting animals as well as humans, while rock paintings appear from approximately 7000 BC The earliest traces of food production and ceramics can be dated to approximately 5000 BC.

  • AbbreviationFinder: Check three-letter abbreviation for each country in the world, such as LBY which represents the official name of Libya.

According to a2zgov, 3000-2500 BC the residents of the area west of the Nile began to act as enemies in Egyptian springs; these are the so-called tjehenu. Egyptian images depict them according to the same color conventions by which they reproduced themselves (reddish-brown skin for men and yellowish for women, both with black hair), and this, along with other conditions, indicates that the Libyans have been ethnically related to the Egyptians. Representations of a later population group, called tjemehu, on the other hand, clearly distinguish between these (light skin, red or maroon hair, blue or light eyes) and the Egyptians. Tjehenu lived in the area west of the Nile Delta, but later refers to Ta-Tjehenu(‘tjehenus land’) the whole area west of the Nile Valley from north to south. Around 2000 BC. tjemehu is mentioned for the first time as the most important; they also gradually came to denote all the residents of the area west of the Nile Valley. During Ramses III’s Libyan wars, the names of subgroups of tjemehu are mentioned: meshwesh, lebu and seped both as enemies and as allies. Seped has presumably been circumcised; this theory is based on the interpretation of the reliefs in Medinet Habu with depictions of victory trophies: heaps of cut phalluses. After the fall of the Egyptian New Kingdom, the Nile Delta was infiltrated by Libyans, and finally Sheshonk took 1., who was of Libyan descent, in 945 BC. power in Egypt as the first king of the 22nd, so-called Libyan dynasty.

It is the Lebu Libyans who have given their name to the Libya of the ancient writers, which partly covers the whole of North Africa and partly the present Libya.

Libya – history

From around 600 BC. Libya was colonized by Phoenicians and Greeks. With the expansion of the Romans in the Mediterranean, the coastal areas became especially important, and with the establishment of the province of Africa in 146 BC. and the Cows in 74 BC. they were incorporated into the Roman Empire. The intermediate area was slowly integrated from the time of Emperor Augustus. Despite the desert-like hinterland, Libya developed into an important grain and olive-producing area with hubs in the port cities of Leptis Magna, Oea (now Tripoli) and Apollonia. approximately 300, the Libyan territory was separated as the independent province of Tripolitana. After the division of the Roman Empire, it came under the Byzantine Empire. In 455 the vandals conquered and ravaged the main towns along the coast, but the area still experienced a slight flourishing in the 500-t.

It was in the 600-t. conquered by the Arabs, who for the first time, however, had only control of the coastline. From 800-t. it was in the possession of the Aghlabids, and in 900-t. it came under the Shiite Fatimids. However, they lost control of most of Libya when the local emir of 1049 allowed a return to Sunni Islam. Thereafter, the area was under changing rule and was also split up between local rulers, until from 1551 it formally came under Ottoman control. Local clans, however, managed to maintain a significant influence, as was the case with Ahmad Qaramanli, who in 1711 secured real control of the country, and whose family dominated politically until 1835, when the Ottoman sultanate again succeeded in securing direct control of the area.

In 1911, Italy declared war on the Ottoman Empire and sought control of Libya. However, the Italian invasion encountered considerable resistance from both the Ottomans and the local population. The Ottoman sultan made peace with Italy in October 1912, but local Libyan resistance remained unchallenged, now under the leadership of the Sanusi Order (see Muhammad ibn Ali al- Sanusi). When the fascists took power in Italy in 1922, the war in Libya intensified, and with the capture and execution of rebel leader Omar Mukhtar (b. C. 1858) in 1931, Italy finally secured control of Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica, the three territories that together constitutes Libya. That same year, rebel leader Omar Mukhtar was executed. The twenty-year-long crackdown on local rebels is estimated to have cost approximately 75,000 Libyans live. Eventually, the Italian settlement made up one-eighth of the population.

Libya becomes independent

During World War II, Britain occupied Cyrenaica and Tripolitania, while the French occupied Fezzan, and in 1947, Italy renounced Libya. In December 1951, the UN decided that the area should be an independent united kingdom under King Idris I, who had played a role in the long struggle against Italy. The constitution of the new Libyan kingdom stated that Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan should have extensive autonomy; only foreign and economic policy had to be managed centrally.

From independence until 1969, Libya was closely linked to the West. It was also Western oil companies that in 1959 located the first oil fields in the country, and soon a significant amount of oil was produced. The rising revenues from this made it possible to implement political reforms, and in 1963 Libya was transformed from a federal to a centralized state with a common political system. The great dependence on the West also led to a growing criticism from e.g. the army, and a group of young officers led by Muammar Gaddafi seized power on September 1, 1969. The following year, 20,000 Italians were expelled as the last colonists.

Libya after the coup

The new rulers were declared pan-Arabists (see pan-Arabism), and since 1969 Libya has repeatedly tried to enter into close supranational cooperation with a number of different Arab countries, including Egypt, Syria, Sudan, Malta and Tunisia. None of these attempts, however, have been realized. Libya has also taken several initiatives to strengthen the North African Arab Union (UMA), which has also been in vain so far.

The political system was transformed in 1977 so that power was formally handed over to congresses of the people elected at both local and national level. The system continues to function, but from the mid-1980’s due to growing internal opposition to the regime has been supplemented by a series of “revolutionary committees” to ensure the circle around Gaddafi full political control.

Libya experienced tremendous economic growth from the early 1970’s until the mid-1980’s. The country’s large revenues from the sale of oil were invested in agriculture, industry and the establishment of a comprehensive health and education system. Private investment and retail were banned in accordance with the principles of Gaddafi’s Green Paper, but were allowed again from the late 1980’s because the regime felt pressured to make economic concessions to counter the growing opposition. The large and large investments in agriculture and industry have not lived up to expectations, and Libya remains heavily dependent on revenues from oil exports.

The rhetorical violence that has characterized Libya since 1969 has repeatedly led the country on a collision course with the West, including due to Libyan demands that large parts of the Gulf of Sidra be considered Libyan territorial waters. Disagreements over this led in 1986 to a US bombing of Tripoli following Libyan attacks on the US Mediterranean.

Isolation and normalization

Throughout the 1990’s, Libya was economically and politically isolated from the international community as a result of the terrorist attack on a civilian plane over Lockerbie in 1988, and only when Gaddafi in 2000 agreed to extradite two suspects to the Netherlands so that they could be convicted there. a Scottish court, it became possible to gradually lift the sanctions against Libya. Later s.å. Libya was active in the effort to free 12 hostages from the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in the Philippines. The Scottish court in 2001 convicted one of the defendants in the Lockerbie case of murder, while the other was acquitted due to insufficient evidence. Libya has subsequently paid compensation to the families who lost relatives in the Lockerbie attack, and the country recognized after the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001 The United States’ right to retaliate.

UN sanctions against Libya were finally lifted in September 2003. Later that year, Gaddafi announced that Libya would cease developing weapons of mass destruction. As a result of these developments, Libya’s relations with the West have improved significantly in recent years, with Gaddafi receiving more Western leaders and even visiting Europe for the first time in 15 years.

In May 2006, the United States announced that it would re-establish diplomatic relations with Libya. In 2008, Libya formally became a member of the UN Security Council, recognizing its abandonment of weapons of mass destruction. Between 1993 and 1999, which marked the 30th anniversary of the military coup in 1969, Gaddafi had several clashes with the political opposition in the country. The Libyan opposition abroad is divided into several factions, and although the internal opposition has struck several times since the early 1990’s, the regime has never been seriously threatened.

In 2008, Gaddafi paid a state visit to Rome, during which a reconciliation agreement was concluded between the two nations. The agreement included an official apology from Italy for its actions against Libya since 1911, as well as a promise of a gradual payment of a fine of 5 billion. US $.

In February 2011, a revolt was launched against Gaddafi and his dictatorial regime, and in August s.å. Tripoli fell and the rebels moved into the city (see Libyan Civil War). International sanctions were imposed on Libya, and NATO fighter jets took part in the fight against the regime. On October 20, Gaddafi was killed after being captured by rebel forces, and on October 23, the country was declared free by the Libyan National Transitional Council. The uprising against Gaddafi must be seen in continuation of the Arab Spring with its protest waves. The head of the Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, became head of a transitional government. The first democratic elections after Gaddafi’s rule were held in July 2012, with a liberal alliance winning almost half of the votes. The following month, the Transitional National Council was able to hand over power to the popularly elected National Assembly, which was to act as the legislature in the coming year and appoint a new government. A new constitution must also be drawn up. The chairman of the National Assembly is Mohammed Magarief, who thus actually became head of state.

In September 2012, Islamists attacked the US Consulate in Benghazi; four Americans, incl. the ambassador was killed. The Islamists were soon after expelled from the city. Magarief resigned as chairman of the National Assembly in May 2013 and was replaced by Nuri Abu Sahmein, who belongs to the Berber minority.

Tensions between nationalists and Islamists, including groups loyal to ISIS, led in 2014 to a real civil war in which the central government collapsed.