Chronology: Libya

The Middle East Journal, Summer 2014 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Libya


Seoe also Egypt, Tunisia

Jan21. 18: The General National Congress (GNC), Libya's interim parliamentary body, declared a state of emergency throughout the country in response to intense clashes in the southwestern city of Sabha over the course of several days. The fighting started as minor clashes between Black and Arab tribesmen from the region, but escalated when militias supporting ousted leader Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi took over a military base. At least 30 civilians died in a week's worth of fighting. [Al Arabiya, 1/18]

Jan. 21: The Justice and Construction Party, the largest Islamist faction in the government, withdrew its five cabinet ministers in protest of Prime Minister 'Ali Zaydan. The party had pushed for a censure vote on the prime minister, whom they claim had been ineffective since taking office, but the move did not pass. Among those who resigned were the ministers of oil, the economy, and housing. [BBC, 1/21]

Jan. 22: Local security forces rescued a South Korean trade official kidnapped by gunmen in Tripoli on January 20. No one was harmed in the rescue operation and the four kidnappers were arrested. Kidnapping became an endemic problem in Libya after the 2011 uprising. [NYT, 1/21, 1/23]

Jan. 23: The GNC released a report that calculated that 643 violent deaths occurred in the country in 2013. The report also highlighted rampant criminality; only 30% of the estimated 170,000 militiamen who fought against Qadhafi's forces in 2011 had been integrated into state security services or disarmed. Similar reports had not been published in prior years, so no accurate comparison of violence levels could be made. [Daily Star, 1/23]

Jan. 27: Gunmen kidnapped five Egyptian diplomats in Tripoli and demanded that Egypt release Sha'ban Hadiyya, a Libyan militia leader who was arrested in the Egyptian city of Alexandria on January 24. The diplomats were released unharmed on January 27, and Hadiyya was set free soon afterwards. The Egyptian government claimed the releases were not related. [NYT, 1/25, BBC, 1/27]

Jan. 28: Newly arrived government troops launched an attack on pro-Qadhafi militias in the southwestern city of Sabha. A state of emergency was enacted across Libya on January 18 as a result of the violence in the city. At least 88 people died in clashes over the span of three weeks. [Daily Star, 1/28]

Feb. 2: Foreign Minister Muhammad 'Abd al-'Aziz reported that Libya had destroyed the last of its chemical weapons stockpiles in late January. The process began in 2004 when Libya joined the Chemical Weapons Convention, and over half of the stockpile was eliminated before the 2011 civil war. The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, Ahmet Üzümcü, was also present at the news conference and confirmed the report. [BBC, 2/4]

Feb. 7: Thousands took to the streets of Tripoli and 12 parliamentarians resigned in protest of the GNC's decision to postpone elections and the passage of a new constitution to the end of 2014. The GNC's original mandate was to nominate a constitutional committee and organize parliamentary elections by the end of January 2014. [Al Arabiya, 2/7]

Feb. 14: Ninety-two prisoners escaped from a prison in Zulaytin, a town on the coast between Tripoli and Misrata. A town spokesman claimed only four guards were charged with supervising over 220 inmates. On February 2, 54 detainees escaped from a jail in Tripoli. [Daily Star, 2/2, WP, 2/14]

Feb. 19: Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani announced that the government would compensate women who were raped during the 2011 uprising. Marghani said a new law would treat the women as war victims and make them eligible for the same level of treatment as combat casualties. Hundreds of women were raped during the conflict, and the International Criminal Court claimed that rape was used as an intimidation tactic by pro-Qadhafi forces. [Al Arabiya, 2/19]

Feb. 24: Seven Egyptian Christian men were found shot to death in an apparent murder outside of Benghazi; an eighth man was also abducted by the unknown kidnappers, but escaped. …

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