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Arab Spring - Libya
Transcript of Arab Spring - Libya
Libya gained independence on December 24, 1951. [CIA] And Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, ruled in Libya for over 4 decades starting in 1969. [CNN] Over time, Gaddafi dissolved the monarchy, strengthened ties with Arab nationalist governments, bolstered the military, and implemented social programs; but he retained control over decision-making. [Library of Congress]
Most of Libya’s economy is structured around the energy sector. “Substantial revenue from the energy sector coupled with a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa…” [CIA] The Revolution in Libya Setting the Stage The revolution in Libya started with anti-government demonstrations in February 2011 and ended in October 2011. [CNN] These 8 months were some of the most horrific Libya had ever seen. Libya had one of the highest death toll in the Arab Spring; there were 25,000 dead and 4,000 missing. [Public Brief] February 14 3 days after the fall of Egyptian President, calls go out through use of social media for peaceful demonstrations in Libya. Gaddafi voices support for Egyptian President during the crisis and discourages demonstrations in Libya. [CNN] February 16-18 Several demonstrators take to the streets in Benghazi, Libya but they are attacked by pro-Gaddafi government security forces. The protests turn violent and “witnesses report bloody clashes with soldiers firing tear gas and bullets.” [CNN] The Gaddafi regime imposes media blackout, thereby blocking a clear representation of the current situation in Libya. [Time Toast] February 19 Western allies unleash a “ferocious series of air and missile strikes against Muammar Gaddafi's military” as they mount “Operation Odyssey Dawn, the biggest assault on an Arab regime since the invasion of Iraq in 2003.” [Time Toast] February 20 “Gadhafi's son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi appears on state television to warn demonstrators that the country could fall into civil war if their protests do not subside.” [CNN] February 21-22 According to Libya’s privately owned Quryna newspaper, the Justice Minister, Mustafa Muhammad Abud al-Jalil resigns over a "’bloody situation and use of excessive force’ by security forces against protesters.” [CNN]Gaddafi urges loyalists to fight against the protestors and tells Libya that he will die as a martyr. [Time Toast] February 23 United Nation (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemns the "egregious violations" of human rights in Libya. [CNN]
United Kingdom (UK), France and the United States (US) agree that North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would take over the military command of the no-fly zone over Libya. [Time Toast] February 25-28 “US President Barack Obama signs an executive order freezing Muammar Gaddafi's assets.” [CNN]
The European Union (EU) bans sale of arms and ammunition to Libya, freezes the assets of Gaddafi, and imposes a visa ban on him. [CNN]
The UN Security Council imposes sanctions against Libya, and refers Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity. [Think On That]
The protestors take control of Zawiyah, a city close to Libya’s capital and they announce that it has picked a leader, the former Justice Minister, Mustafa Muhammad Abud al-Jalil. [CNN] March 5-10 The Libyan National Council meets in Benghazi and declares itself the sole representative for Libya. [Think On That]
Gaddafi’s jets launch multiple strikes on protestors to halt their advance on Gaddafi’s hometown, Sirte. And his regime takes back Zawiyah and the oil city of Ras Lanuf. [Time Toast] March 17 The UN Security Council votes to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and takes "all necessary measures" to protect civilians. The resolution is approved with 10 votes and no opposing votes from the council’s 15 members. [CNN] March 19-24 French, British and American military begin the first phase of Operation Odyssey Dawn to enforce the no-fly zone. Missiles are fired from American and British ships and submarines, which hit about 20 Libyan government air and missile defense targets. [CNN]
Gaddafi defends Libya’s right to fight in a war zone but NATO enforces a no-fly zone over Libya. [CNN] March 30 “Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa defects and flies to UK.” [Think On That] March 31 “NATO announces that it has begun Operation Unified Protector in Libya, including an arms embargo, a no-fly zone and ‘actions to protect civilians and civilian centers.’” [CNN] April 1-21 Gaddafi’s regime tries to participate in talks with Western countries in order to identify an exit strategy. But French, British and American governments insist on NATO’s role in Libya. [Time Toast] April 30 “NATO launches a missile attack on a house in Tripoli [which is the capital of Libya]. The attack kills one of Gadhafi's sons, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, and several of his grandchildren.” [CNN] May 1-3 UK Ambassador and officials from embassies belonging to NATO states leave Libya due to growing conflict and attacks by the Libyan regime. [Time Toast] May 18 The wife and daughter of Gaddafi cross borders into Tunisia with Libyan government delegation. [Time Toast] June 1-13 “Libya’s top oil official Shokri Ghanem appears in Rome, Italy, saying he defected after the relentless bloodshed.” [Think On That]
“Several countries…recognize the…National Transitional Council (NTC) as Libya's legitimate representative.” [CNN]
The NTC comprised of the rebels of Gaddafi government.Many Western and Arab nations meet rebel leaders in Abu Dhabi, UAE to discuss the “end-game” for Gaddafi. [Think On That] June 14 “South African President Jacob Zuma lashes out at NATO, arguing that the organization is misusing the UN resolution meant to protect civilians ‘for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation.’” [CNN] June 27 “The ICC issues arrest warrants for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi. The warrants are "for crimes against humanity," including murder and persecution…” [CNN] July 8-27 Gaddafi threatens to send Libyan military for attacks in Europe as revenge towards NATO campaign. [Time Toast]
UK and US join other countries in recognizing the NTC as Libya’s legitimate government authority. [CNN]
“U.N. envoy Abdul Elah al-Khatib says after talks with Libya’s prime minister, the government and the rebels remain far apart in efforts to end the crisis.” [Think On That]
The rebels receive commitment of NATO actions against pro-Gaddafi members and promise of major financial support. And UK confers £91million (about $138 million) in frozen oil funds to the NTC. [Time Toast] July 28 “Abdel Fattah Younes, Gaddafi’s former interior minister who defected to the rebels…and became their military chief, is killed.” [Think On That] August 11-16 Gaddafi urges people to fight NATO and liberate Libya. [CNN]
“Libyan rebels say they have captured part of the oil town of Brega — Gaddafi’s forces still hold western parts of the town where the oil facilities are located.” [Think On That]
“Libyan rebels take the center of Zawiyah…cutting the coastal highway to Tunisia which keeps the Libyan capital supplied with food and fuel.” [Think On That] August 18 “Rebels in Zawiyah celebrate milestone of control over crucial oil refinery and coastal highway”; and their advance on Tripoli continues. [Time Toast] August 21-24 Libyan rebels push into Tripoli and Gaddafi appeals for help. He urges Libyans to cleanse the capital of traitors (i.e. rebels) and vows martyrdom or victory. [Time Toast] August 25-26 The UN Security Council reaches an agreement to release $1.5 billion to the NTC. [CNN] In a press conference, the NTC announces its cabinet move from Benghazi to Tripoli. [Time Toast] September 2-10 Gaddafi and his supporters defy the NTC and NATO, therefore continuing to control the country. The Libyan rebels try to win control of the remaining Gaddafi strongholds. [CNN] September 11 Libya's Justice Minister says that Saadi Gaddafi, son of Colonel Gaddafi, was in “convoy of nine people intercepted while heading towards Agadez,” Niger. [Time Toast] September 15-25 British and French officials meet Libya’s new leaders in Tripoli. And the Libyan rebels close in on Sirte despite fresh attacks from Gaddafi loyalists. [Time Toast] October 7 “Intense sniper fire by Gaddafi's men defending his home city” of Sirte creates a bloody scene for the NTC. [Time Toast] October 16-17 The NTC bulldozers knock down “the green walls surrounding Gaddafi's main Tripoli compound” as a symbol of tearing down tyranny. Only parts of Sirte remain defended by Gaddafi loyalists. [Time Toast] October 18 US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, visits Tripoli and tells reporters: "We hope he will be captured or killed soon." [CNN] October 20 Rebel forces loyal to the country’s new government, the NTC, kill Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, who ruled Libya from 1969 until August 2011. [Time Toast] October 23 The NTC announces liberation to Libyan crowds. [Time Toast] Currently Still, Libya operates under a transitional government. It currently faces civil unrest, as a new constitution has not been drafted. And, “Libya's post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities.” [CIA] So, it is unsafe for foreigners to travel to Libya. New Era and Role of Social Media The revolution in Libya was instigated through use of social media and constant updates on revolution spread throughout the world with the help of social media. Despite media blackout imposed by the Gaddafi regime, nations around the world had access to current developments of the revolution almost instantaneously. Recently, there have been more people attempting to raise awareness on what is going on in a specific country in the Arab world though social media sites. [The Battle for the Arab Spring] Diminishing Role of African Nations Gaddafi’s regime had help from various African nations such as Tunisia, South Africa, and Niger. Tunisia channeled food and fuel during the revolution; South African President Zuma spoke against NATO; and Niger provided asylum to Gaddafi’s family members. However, NATO and the participating countries largely ignored the roles and voices of these African nations. [CNN] NATO’s role & Western influence France, UK, and US played a vital role in supporting rebels and the NTC. [Political Guide] A few prominent officials from these countries visited Libya and even provided financial support to the NTC. [CNN] The 3 countries led NATO to intervene in support the common people. All of the Arab nations supported NATO's role in Libya. [Time Toast] NATO was able to help the rebel forces take down Gaddafi. [Global Politics & Strategy] While the revolution was an internal conflict within Libya, the involvement of NATO brought awareness to the world and the Arab World. [Cornell] Questions? Information Sources
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