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دولة ليبيا

Dawlat Lībiyā
State of Libya
Flag of Libya
Coat of arms of Libya
flag coat of arms
Official language Arabic
Capital Tripoli
Head of state Chairman of the Presidential Council Mohamed al-Menfi (internationally recognized, de facto in competition with Chalifa Haftar )
Head of government Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeiba
surface 1,775,500 km²
population 6.8 million ( 107th ) (2019; estimate)
Population density 4 inhabitants per km²
Population development + 1.5% (estimate for 2019)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nom.)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
2019 (estimate)
  • $ 40 billion ( 94th )
  • $ 93 billion ( 95th )
  • 6,055 USD ( 96. )
  • 14,174 USD ( 94. )
Human Development Index 0.724 ( 105th ) (2019)
currency Libyan Dinar (LYD)
independence December 24, 1951 (from Italy ),
previously administration of a UN High Commissioner
National anthem Libya, Libya, Libya
Time zone UTC + 2
License Plate LAR
ISO 3166 LY , LBY, 434
Internet TLD .ly
Phone code +218
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Libya ( [ˈliːbi̯ən] / [ˈliːby̆ən] / [ˈlyːbi̯ən] ; Arabic ليبيا Lībiyā [ ˈliːbijaˑ ] pronunciation ? / i , officially ArabicAudio file / audio sample  دولة ليبيا, DMG dawlat Lībiyā  'State of Libya'; Berber ⵍⵉⴱⵢⴰ Libya ) is a state in North Africa . Its northern border is the Mediterranean ( Mediterranean bordering state ); it borders in the east on Egypt and Sudan , in the south on Niger and Chad and in the west on the Maghreb states Tunisia and Algeria .

Libya had a population of around 6.8 million in July 2018. In addition to the million and capital Tripoli, there are other large cities such as Benghazi , Misrata , Tobruk and Sabha .

Since 1835 the territory of Libya was part of the Ottoman Empire as the province "Tripolitania" , before various conquerors only controlled the coastal areas of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, but not their hinterland and the Fezzan. From 1911 to 1932 Italy waged two colonial wars over the area, with Benito Mussolini's fascist regime committing genocide in Cyrenaica from 1929 to 1934 . Subsequently, the Italian Libya colony was founded in 1934 , which remained under Italian control until 1943. In 1951 Libya finally became a sovereign state and was a kingdom until 1969 . In 1969, Muammar al-Gaddafi came to power in a military coup. In February 2011 his dictatorial rule began to crumble; a Libyan civil war began. From March to October 2011, an international military intervention took place on the side of Gaddafi's opponents. The ruler Gaddafi was killed by his opponents on October 20, 2011. In May 2014, the power vacuum resulted in a second civil war in which rival militias fought each other, which led to the political and economic collapse and the division of the country into a western and an eastern sphere of power. On December 17, 2015, a peace treaty was agreed between the rival camps from Tobruk and Tripoli, which provided for the reconstruction of the state and its institutions and a unity government under Fayiz al-Sarradsch by 2018 . However, even after the peace treaty, Libya remained divided into a western part of the country that supported al-Sarradsch and an eastern part of the country with the capital Tobruk , in which Khalifa Haftar has great influence. In addition to the power struggle between the two halves of the country, the terrorist organizations Islamic State and Al-Qaeda are also operating through the power vacuum .

Libya is considered a transit country for many African refugees and migrants to Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people from other African countries are said to be staying in the country, who are exposed to crimes such as murder , assault and rape and slavery , and who are often imprisoned in accommodation similar to concentration camps .


The north-west of Libya, the so-called Tripolitania , is occupied by the al-Jifara coastal plain , the mountainous layered plains of Jabal Nafusa (up to 968 m) and the adjoining stone desert of Hammada al-Hamra . A steep step to the south leads to the sand, gravel and scree deserts of the Fessan .

The middle section comprises the Syrteb Basin , which is close to the coast and is rich in oil and natural gas deposits . In its hinterland rises the volcanic mountain range al-Kharuj al-aswad (1200 m).

In the north-east lies the Kyrenaika with the karst mountains of al-Jabal al-Achdar (878 m), which slope steeply to the sea . Across the Mediterranean to the north, Libya is a neighbor of Italy ( Sicily and Pantelleria ), Malta and Greece ( Crete ). The Bay of the Great Syrte is claimed by Libya as territorial waters. The karst mountains merge to the east into the steppe of the Marmarika , to the south into the sand dune sea of ​​the Libyan desert . In the border area with Chad , the northern foothills of the Tibesti with the highest mountain in the country ( Bikku Bitti 2,267 m) encroach on Libya.

Libya is the fourth largest country on the African continent in terms of area after Algeria , the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan .

Drinking water supplies

Overall, a good 85% of the Libyan land area is taken up by the Sahara . Only around 2% of the area can currently be used for agriculture . Libya is one of the few countries in the world where there are no permanent rivers , but so-called wadis , which only carry water temporarily after heavy rains. However, under the territory of Libya there are freshwater reserves of 35,000 billion cubic meters, which is well above the water quantities of Lake Baikal or the Great Lakes of North America . See also: Great Man Made River Project .

Climate and vegetation

In the coastal region, which is dominated by the Mediterranean and humid in winter, the mean temperatures are 12 ° C in January and 26 ° C in August; the mean annual precipitation here is 300 mm. In spring and autumn a dry, hot, dusty desert wind, the Gibli , often blows . The interior of the country has a desert climate with considerable temperature fluctuations (in winter below 0 ° C, in summer over 50 ° C) and almost completely without rain.

Despite the size of the country, Libya's climate has only two main characteristics: a subtropical warm climate zone along the coast and a hot, dry desert climate zone in the interior (by far the largest part).

Capital Tripoli on the Mediterranean

On the narrow coastal strip on the Mediterranean Sea, mild winters prevail, with some rain falling. On average, one receives here 250 to 400 mm of precipitation per year, which corresponds to about 30-50 rainy days, which occur almost exclusively from November to February. The temperatures during this period are 8–12 ° C at night and 16–20 ° C during the day. Spring is warm, with values ​​between 12 and 16 ° C and 20–28 ° C, with almost no precipitation. Then there is also the time of hot sandstorms ( Gibli ) from the south, which can bring peak temperatures of up to 43 ° C even in April. The summers are long, very dry and hot with average daily temperatures of 30–33 ° C. Temperatures usually drop to around 20–22 ° C during the night. Autumn is warm and towards the end a little more humid with day and night values ​​of 22-27 and 13-16 ° C, respectively. At this time gibli can appear again, which in turn causes heat waves of 40 ° C. The humidity is high all year round at 60–75%. The climate just described also applies to cities like Tripoli (the capital), Misrata , Surt , al-Baida and Benghazi .

The steppe and desert areas that begin just behind the coast are characterized by mild winters and very hot summers. There is almost no precipitation all year round (0–5 days of precipitation or 1–35 mm of rain). In winter, temperatures hover around a warm 18–24 ° C during the day, while at night they drop to cool values ​​of 3–8 ° C. In some areas, light frost is quite possible. The air humidity is medium at 35–55%. Spring and autumn are very warm during the day (24–35 ° C, but it can also get hotter), while the nights are still cool (10–18 ° C). Often there are sandstorms that sometimes also reach the coast. The air humidity decreases in spring and increases again in autumn. The summers are very hot with dry air (only 20–30% humidity). The daily average temperatures are 38–42 ° C, in the nights between 20 and 26 ° C. With up to 58 ° C, the Libyan desert regions are considered to be the place with the highest temperatures ever recorded in the world . In the town of Ghadames on the Tunisian border, the maximum values ​​for a full five months (May to September) are 50 ° C and above. The desert climate applies to cities such as Ghat , Ghadames, Kufra and Sabha , which despite their distances from one another have very similar climatic conditions.

Flora and fauna

The coastal mountains have Mediterranean flora, in the coastal lowlands there is steppe vegetation. The animal world includes the typical species of the dry areas, such as dune gazelles , hyenas , jackals , gerbils and desert foxes ( fennecs ), anubis baboons , wild asses , hares and black cats as well as various birds of prey , snakes and scorpions live here . Between 1990 and 2000 the stock of has wild rose by 1.4%. In 2009 there were 141 species of locusts .


Population development in millions of inhabitants
Age pyramid in 1000 inhabitants

In 1960 Libya had fewer than 1.5 million inhabitants. Since 1975, the population has increased from 2.5 million to 6.2 million people (2012, estimate). In 2005, 30% of the population was under 15 years old. Around 90% of the population live in the coastal areas of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica , 85% of them in cities. Around one to two million guest workers were employed in the country until the outbreak of civil war. Life expectancy averaged 71.6 years from 2010 to 2015 (68.8 years for men and 74.4 years for women).

Ethnic-cultural groups

Ethnic map of Libya

In 2011, the population consisted of 97% culturally and linguistically Arabized Berbers and Arabs as well as Berbers who were not linguistically assimilated. With the Islamic conquest of the country, a large part of society was gradually Arabized; the Berbers living in their traditional tribal societies make up only about 25% of the population.

The Arab population, in turn, is divided into several distinct groups, which are usually referred to as "tribes". Only 5% of the population are nomads .

Parts of the Berber nomadic people of the Tuareg live in western Libya and numerous Tubu in the south . The latter were partially expelled from their residential areas under Gaddafi and their citizenship withdrawn. Their supposed origin in Chad was given as the reason. There are also Italians , most of whom had to leave the country after 1969. Other minorities are Greeks , Turks , Kurds and Levantines as well as Maltese , Egyptians , Tunisians , Indians and Pakistanis . The Jews , who had resided on the coast for thousands of years, were expelled from the country after the Tripoli pogrom in 1945.


Most of the population has the Libyan-Arabic dialect as their mother tongue; the Berber languages Nafusi (220,000 speakers), Ghadamsi (42,000 speakers) and Tamascheq (40,000 speakers) as well as the Nilo-Saharan Tubu language Tedaga (2,000 speakers) are also spoken as minority languages .

The official language so far is only Standard Arabic , from 1969 a nationalist campaign for Arabization was started under Gaddafi , which was supposed to displace Italian as a foreign language and the Berber languages ​​from public life. A new regulation stipulated that all street signs, shop window names, company signs and traffic permits must be written in Arabic. Since the 1980s, almost only Arabic has been understood. Under Gaddafi, foreign language teaching was forbidden in schools, and universities were only allowed to teach the theory and history of foreign languages.

In addition to Standard Arabic as the official language, the transitional government also allowed the respective Berber languages.


The Islam is the state religion. The free practice of religion was guaranteed under Gaddafi as long as it did not contradict the traditions. State and religion have hitherto been separate, and clergymen have been restricted to religious affairs. In its programmatic statements, the People's Republican government presented itself as women-friendly: co-education was carried out under it , but the introduction of compulsory military service for women and the admission of women to military academies shocked Islamic men's society .

The Senussi are a religious brotherhood with a secular claim to rule in Cyrenaica. She fought against the Italians from 1911 and against the British from 1943. From 1951 until the 1969 revolution, she was the king. In recent years there has been an increased trend towards Orthodox Islam across the country; the veiling of women is increasing. Since the 1980s, underground groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood , at-Takfir wa-l-Higra , Hezbollah , al-Jihad and their religious tendency to take over politics have been described as an Islamist threat to Libya. Since the mid-1990s, the Libyan Islamic Combat Group has also been particularly active in the Cyrenaica.

97% of the population are Sunni Muslims , mostly of the Maliki direction. The majority of the tradition-conscious Berber tribes belong to the Islamic special community of the Ibadites . There are still around 74,000 Catholics in Libya , some Coptic and some Greek Orthodox Christians . Most Christian churches were closed after Gaddafi came to power in 1969. The descendants of the 7,000 or so Jewish Libyans remaining after the pogroms of 1948 emigrated after the Six Day War .


Libya is considered a transit country for many African refugees and migrants to Europe. The European Union, through the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, works together with IOM and UNHCR for the reintegration of refugees, and this in Libya, along the central Mediterranean route and in Ethiopia. According to UNHCR information, a total of 43,113 refugees and asylum seekers were registered by the UNHCR in Libya in October 2017.

The situation in Libyan refugee camps is portrayed as catastrophic in the media. There are twelve disembarkation points in Libya for those apprehended at sea, where the people are looked after by the UNHCR.

Social system / education

Libya had one of the highest per capita incomes on the African continent. The residents' social insurance included free medical care as well as widows, orphans and old age pensions. There is general compulsory education for six to fifteen year olds. Nevertheless, the illiteracy rate for women is still 14.4% and that of men 3.3%; however, at 9%, this rate is very low in comparison with Africa.

There are universities in Tripoli , Benghazi and other larger places.

Although Gaddafi, in marked contrast to other Arab socialists, had conservative Islamic views on the role of women, women under his rule in Libya were highly educated compared to other Arab countries. In the event of a divorce, they were allowed to keep the house or apartment they shared. There were day-care centers for working women as well as women in classic “male professions” such as police officers or pilots. In 1979, Gaddafi set up a military academy for women. Most educated women, however, worked in health care and as teachers, and the female employment rate was below 10% in the mid-1990s. In contrast to neighboring Tunisia, polygamy remained permitted in Libya; the man only had to obtain the consent of the other wife in order to marry a second wife. In most cases, the spouse was also chosen by the family.

The Libyan government has paid Jordan US $ 140 million for medical treatment for Libyans injured in the civil war; At the beginning of February 2012, around 15,000 injured Libyans were being treated there.


Historic market square in Leptis Magna

Already in Egyptian hieroglyphic texts a name for the neighboring tribes to the west appears. The Greeks called the country Libyē ( ancient Greek Λιβύη ), the Latin equivalent is Libya. In ancient times, this meant the land on both sides of the Great Syrte . From the 7th century BC They founded colonies on the coast, including the city of Cyrene . This part of the country, Cyrenaica , came under the rule of Egypt for centuries . In the area adjoining it to the west, the Phoenicians had around 700 BC. The three cities Sabratha , Oea and Leptis Magna founded - the name Tripolitania ("three-city country") has its origin here. They came as early as the 6th century BC. Under the rule of Carthage . After its destruction in 146 BC Tripolitania came under Roman rule, 96 BC. In BC Cyrenaica also became part of the Roman Empire. During the Roman division of the empire in AD 395, Tripolitania remained with Western Rome , while the Cyrenaica was added to Eastern Rome. In the middle of the 5th century, the Vandals invaded Libya; Byzantium succeeded in recapturing from 533 under the leadership of General Belisarius . Between 641 and 644 the Arabs occupied the area; the Berbers resident there were Islamized.

Turkish and Italian rule

At the beginning of the 16th century, Tripolitania was first conquered by the Spaniards, who then ceded the area to the Order of St. John . In 1551 the Ottomans conquered all of Libya. For a long time, Tripoli was the base of the corsairs and was repeatedly the target of attacks by European and, in 1803, even American navies. In the 19th century, the Senussi Brotherhood, an Islamic order based in Cyrenaica, sought power. It also formed the core of the resistance after Italy annexed Libya after the Italo-Turkish War (1911–1912). The Italian conquest of Libya took place in three phases. During the first phase from 1911 to 1914, Tripolitania and Fessan were conquered by the Italians, but they were then pushed back to the coasts by rebellions. During the second phase from 1915 to 1922, the Libyans were granted self-government rights by the Italians. After the fascists under Benito Mussolini came to power in Rome, the third phase followed from 1923 to 1932, during which Italy waged an almost ten-year colonial war, in the course of which around 100,000 Libyans were killed using area bombing, poison gas and concentration camps 15% of the total population.

In 1934 Italy declared its Libyan possessions a colony of Italian Libya . Already here there were border disputes over the Aouzou strip in the south with France and its colony French Equatorial Africa . During World War II, Italian troops attacked Egypt but were repulsed by British troops. From 1941 to 1943 German troops (" Afrikakorps " under General Field Marshal Erwin Rommel ) supported the Italian units in Libya against Allied units until both the Italian and German units had to surrender in May 1943 near Tunis . From 1943 to 1949, Libya was occupied by Great Britain and France. In 1949 the United Nations decided to give Libya independence and appointed Adrian Pelt as High Commissioner .

Independence as the Kingdom of Libya in 1951

King Idris around 1965

In 1951 Libya was given independence. King of the constitutional monarchy was the head of the Senussi , Idris I. The discovery of rich oil deposits since 1959 made Libya one of the most important oil exporting countries in the world.

Active and passive women's suffrage was introduced in 1964.

Military coup in 1969 and its aftermath

On the other hand, however, internal social tensions increased, which, in addition to growing nationalist moods, finally led to the overthrow of the monarchy by the military on September 1, 1969 (new national holiday) and the proclamation of the Arab Republic of Libya. King Idris and Queen Fatima went into exile in Cairo .

The chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi , attempted the radical Arabization and Islamization of the country. Among other things, English and Italian classes in primary schools, the import of pork and the sale of alcoholic beverages were banned. Furthermore, the former Catholic cathedral of Tripoli was converted into a mosque . His plans to create a pan-Arab union with some neighboring countries between 1969 and 1974 failed, among other things, because of his claim to leadership. He also renamed Libya Jamahiriya .

In the following years all oil companies were nationalized.

On March 2, 1977 Libya was declared a socialist Arab People's Republic (Jamahiriyya) with 1200 "People's Committees" with the declaration of Sabha , which has the character of a state organization law. Libya no longer had a formal state constitution; the Constitutional Proclamation of 1969 and 1992 and the Declaration on the Authority of the People of 1977 were regarded as such. A new national flag and a new national coat of arms were introduced.

Jamahiriya (People's Republic) 1977

Muammar al-Gaddafi at the 2009 African Union summit

In 1977 Libya waged a brief border war against Egypt and from 1978 to 1987 a border war with Chad over the Aouzou Strip .

Legislators in Libya became the General People's Congress . The General Secretary of the General People's Congress, Muhammad Abu l-Qasim al-Zuwai , was supported by a seven-person general secretariat as head of state . Actual power, however, lay with the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi . The General People's Congress, whose approx. 2,700 delegates from local people's congresses (around 6 for an average of 100 inhabitants), trade unions, armed forces and other mass organizations, was the highest political institution and had both legislative and executive functions. Some of its resolutions had the character of fundamental rights .

All Libyans aged 18 and over were obliged to participate in politics. Parties were not allowed. The main unions were controlled by the state; these were the National Federation of Trade Unions and the Union of Petroleum and Petrochemical Workers .

In 1979, Muammar al-Gaddafi resigned from the state office, but remained in power as a “revolutionary leader” in the country.

In 1988 a people's court was created, whose jurisdiction was political and economic corruption. In 2005 these controversial people's courts were abolished.

In 2000, at the suggestion of Gaddafi, the parliament largely dissolved the country's central administration and transferred both legislation and governance to regional parliaments and committees.

Uprising and civil war 2011

After Libyans protested publicly in February 2011 and state security forces tried to prevent the protests by force, the country's political leadership split. Armed opposition officials took control in Benghazi. After a coordinated military intervention by NATO and a number of Arab states to enforce the no-fly zone established by UN resolution 1973 , the militias that formed the Libyan National Liberation Army succeeded in defeating the units of Libya's regular armed forces . The number of war dead is estimated to be between 10,000 and 50,000. In 2011 there were extensive missions in Libya by the International Committee of the Blue Shield (Association of the National Committees of the Blue Shield, ANCBS) based in The Hague to protect and secure cultural assets threatened by civil war, unrest and theft (museums, archives , Excavation sites, monuments, buildings, etc.), because in many cases the warring parties to the conflict consciously try to destroy or economically exploit the cultural heritage and memory of the opponent (aided by the collapse of state structures). In the process, “No Strike” lists were created with such cultural assets that are intended to protect against air strikes.

In 2014 the various militias formed around two competing political alliances under the abbreviations "Dignity" and "Dawn", which since May 2014 have been waging a new civil war. Since March 2015, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya wants both alliances to form a new joint government.

Development since 2011 and new civil war

War in Libya

After the war and international military intervention , the country was rocked by fighting between rival militias . At first, the democratic process in Libya seemed to be making headway, as the first fair and free elections in Libya's history were held in 2012. In this election for the Libyan National Congress in 2012 , the secular and secular Alliance of National Forces (ANK) was by far the strongest party. However, the rival Islamist Justice and Development Party managed to form a parliamentary majority against the ANK. In the period that followed, the Islamist governments were neither able nor apparently willing to dissolve the independent militias in Libya or to integrate them into the state. Terrorist groups and militias such as Ansar al-Sharia (Libya) (which is held responsible for the murder of US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens ) were able to move freely in the new Libya. Under Nuri Busahmein's presidency , the situation finally escalated when Libya's new head of state did not support the government in fighting independent militias, but instead founded and promoted his own Islamist private army with the “Libyan revolutionaries' operating room”.

When free militias as well as radical Islamist militias had a free hand in Libya and the Islamist governments did not want or could not end this state of affairs, this brought the secular camp onto the scene, which had had enough of these states. Under General Khalifa Haftar , a secular alliance “Dignity” was formed, which attempted to usurp power in the country through a military coup in May 2014. In contrast to the military coup in Egypt in 2013 , it failed because the Muslim Brotherhood had expected such an approach and had set up their own militias for their part. The parliamentary elections in Libya in 2014 , which were held in the early chaos of war, were intended to avert the incipient civil war and further promote the democratic process. After the forces around Haftar had won the elections with a turnout of 18%, the Islamist camp in Tripoli came back to power under the name “ Dawn ” and drove the new official government to the east of the country.

In this civil war, the two alliances “Dignity” (which is the official government) and “ Dawn ” and the terrorist organization “ IS ” are fighting for power in the country. It goes hand in hand with a dramatic increase in the number of refugees and serious human rights violations. The United Nations saw Libya close to economic collapse in 2015. In an interview on April 11, 2016, US President Barack Obama mentioned the fact that the United States and its allies had failed to ensure stable conditions and an orderly government in Libya after the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime. biggest mistake ”of his eight-year term 2009–2017.

After the conquest of the capital Tripoli, the counter-government reinstated the General National Congress as parliament. The internationally recognized council of deputies then fled to Tobruk . Since the armies and militias of both governments have been weakened by the ongoing civil war, offshoots of the terrorist organization IS succeeded in bringing parts of the country such as Sirte or Darna under their control. The "IS" proclaimed an emirate that swore allegiance to the self-proclaimed "caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi . The United Nations Security Council strives for both governments to form a unity government that will end the civil war, stabilize the country and fight the terrorist organization IS.

Since June 2015 peace negotiations have been taking place in the Moroccan Skhirat and Berlin between the representatives of the two Libyan blocs mediated by the “5 + 5” group. The “5 + 5” group consists of representatives of the five UN veto powers , as well as Germany, Spain, Italy, the EU and the United Nations . On the side of the Libyan delegations, representatives of the two governments and parliaments, independent groups and militias as well as representatives of the city of Misrata take part. Negotiations on the future of Libya began in Berlin on June 10, 2015 at the Foreign Office at the invitation of the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier . On December 6, 2015, an agreement was surprisingly concluded that should lead to the formation of a unity government.


Political indices
Name of the index Index value Worldwide rank Interpretation aid year
Fragile States Index 95.2 out of 120 20 of 178 Stability of the country: Alarm
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
Democracy index   1.95 from 10   158 of 167 Authoritarian regime
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
Freedom in the World 9 out of 100 --- Freedom status: not free
0 = not free / 100 = free
Freedom of the press ranking 55.77 out of 100 164 of 180 Very serious situation for freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)   17 out of 100   173 of 180 0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean 2020

Political system

As the highest organ of the state, the General National Congress in August 2012 appointed the National Transitional Council founded by insurgents on February 27, 2011 ( Arabic المجلس الوطني الانتقالي, DMG al-maǧlis al-waṭanī al-intiqālī ). Since the fall of long-time ruler Muammar al-Gaddafi , large parts of the country have been under the control of militias that have not submitted to the National Transitional Council.

Elections to the General National Congress were announced in August 2011 and took place from June 18 to July 5, 2012. 2,501 candidates applied for the 200 seats. Following this was Mohammed Yusef el-Mega Rief elected president. On September 13, 2012, Mustafa Abu Shagur was elected Prime Minister.

According to the Election Act to the Constituent Assembly passed in Tripoli on January 29, 2012, 136 of the seats should be given to candidates from political parties and 64 seats to independent candidates. In the 2012 election for the Libyan National Congress, around 60% of the votes (120 out of 200) were given to independent candidates and not to party lists.

Several political parties were founded. However, they were not allowed to accept money from abroad. Former Gaddafi supporters were also banned from participating in the candidacy. A law that came into force on May 3 banned the formation of religious parties.

In the elections at the end of June 2014 , only independent candidates and no party lists were allowed to prevent future political power struggles. Many Libyans hope that this will be another step towards democratizing the country. The new 200-member parliament, the Council of Representatives , took over legislative rights on August 4, 2014.

The conscription for women and men between the ages of 18 and 35 that existed under Gaddafi in Libya has in fact been abolished. The new transitional government has not yet issued any regulation on conscription.

Legal system

Since the end of the civil war, Libya's legal system has been in an unclear state; Libya has had no constitution since 1978, and a new one has yet to be adopted. The UN mission, UNSMIL, is to provide assistance in establishing a legal system and an administration based on the rule of law . The establishment of a new, generally recognized judicial system is dragging on. Torture is repeated in prisons, mostly those that are not under the control of the Transitional Council. The civil code, which was valid until the civil war, followed the Egyptian one and was therefore shaped like this by the French legal system.

The legal basis of the Libyan constitution was the Koran (Article 2). Islamic law ( Sharia ) applied in personal, family and inheritance law (1984 law) and, since 1994, in criminal law too . Homosexuality has been a criminal offense since 1973 (Law No. 70/1973). Zinā (adultery and fornication) was punished with 100 lashes under Law No. 70/1973; Libel for fornication / adultery (qadhf) was also a criminal offense. The reason given was the curbing of prostitution.

According to a defense lawyer in Benghazi in February 2012, the militias were too powerful. Of 50 accused of “high treason against the revolution” only three were able to comment personally at the hearing. The militia refused to take the remaining 47 into the courtroom; the reason given was "security problems". Torture of defendants has also become known.

In December 2013, the National Assembly of Libya voted to introduce Sharia law .

Human rights

Many human rights organizations such as Amnesty International report that even under the new authorities that came to power in Libya after the civil war, human rights are severely restricted in Libya. At least twelve Gaddafi supporters are said to have been killed by torture. Black people are discriminated against because they are often denounced as Gaddafi's mercenaries. Violent clashes against the Tubu broke out in the city of Sabha . Dozens of people are said to have died. The Open Doors organization also stated that Christians are now being persecuted in Libya . Other than Islamic religious gatherings are prohibited. In 2011, several Christians were imprisoned for their beliefs. There were attacks by Salafists on Christian Copts . In early 2013, 100 Christians were abducted and mistreated in Benghazi .

It is estimated that more than 6,000 people have been arrested across the country (as of 2012) with no formal charge or prospect of trial. Prisoners were tortured in the detention centers in the city of Misrata, which were not under the National Transitional Council but under the Revolutionary Brigade there. The aid organization Doctors Without Borders found injuries from torture in a total of 115 prisoners. The torture interrogations , some of which were fatal, were conducted by the NASS military intelligence service. The local authorities ignored the aid organization's calls for an end to the torture. After the torture death of the former Libyan ambassador to France in Sintan became known , Justice Minister Ali Hamida Aschur declared that those responsible would be brought to justice; most of the prisons affected by torture allegations are not under the control of the Transitional Council.

In 2017, captivity without a legal basis was the subject of an UNSMIL workshop . An official spokesman from Bani Walid put the number of those detained without trial at 7,000-8,000 across the country. These are said to include around 900 women in Ruhaimi Prison in Ain Zara, most of them former members of the Revolutionary Guard . There are also prisoners of armed gangs in private prisons.

According to the Science and Politics Foundation , which maintains contacts with Libya, 4,000 refugees will officially be held in Libyan migration prisons in 2021 , where they were tortured, raped and executed. In addition, human traffickers operate numerous illegal prisons.

Foreign policy

Libya is a member of the United Nations ( UN ), the African Union ( AU ), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ( OPEC ), the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries ( OAPEC ), the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Arab League , the Movement of the Non-Aligned States and the Community of Sahel-Saharan States SAD-CEN.

In the 25 years between 1969 and 1994 Libya made numerous attempts at unification with Arab and African states .

A number of states, for example most of the Western European states, Australia, Canada, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates recognized the Transitional Council as the only legitimate representative of the Libyan people and sent diplomatic representatives to Benghazi. So far the USA has only ordered one permanent representative to Benghazi, the European Union opened a liaison office there and the Arab League started talks with the Transitional Council.

On August 3, 2011, the US government announced that it would establish an embassy of the Libyan Transitional Council in Washington DC. There are also plans that the insurgents will be provided with 13 million US dollars from blocked accounts of the previous Libyan leadership. The Libyan embassy had previously been closed in March 2011. The United Kingdom had also expelled Libya's diplomatic representatives. The African Union , of which Gaddafi was the most important founder and donor, initially rejected joint recognition of the council, even if the majority of its members had already officially recognized it. As the successor of the escaped Libyan ambassador to Germany, Jamal al-Barag, the National Transitional Council Ali Masednah nominated Idris el-Kothany, who until then had lived as a doctor in Hof (Saale) .

On September 16, 2011, the UN General Assembly decided that from now on the National Transitional Council will represent Libya at the United Nations.

Relations with African States

Libya has supported African independence movements since the 1969 revolution, for example in the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Guinea-Bissau against the dictatorial Estado Novo regime. Libya also maintains good relations with almost all African countries, embassies exist in almost all capital cities and it supports many governments in very poor countries with budget support, but also with social and technological projects, for example a pan-African satellite. Gaddafi always propagated an inter-African (as well as inter-Arab) solidarity , so the former Organization for African Unity received political and financial support. Due to its political unsuccessfulness, Gaddafi suggested the establishment of the African Union , which was implemented in 2002. Libya financed many AU institutions and Gaddafi was elected president in 2009. The founding treaty is based on the EU , so it also contains declarations on compliance with human rights and the sovereignty of the member states. However, it was not always possible to reconcile these two claims for a long time, as can be seen, for example, from the fact that Libya notoriously violated human rights under Gaddafi. On the other hand, Libya supported opponents of the regime in neighboring Chad in 1983, but unsuccessfully, as French Foreign Legionaries helped the dictator Hissène Habré (whose reign was marked by serious human rights violations) and drove the Libyan troops from almost all occupied territories. The Polisario , whose claimed territory, the Western Sahara , is illegally occupied by Morocco , received political support from Libya.

In Libya, members of other African countries were able to obtain a residence permit without any problems, so that the proportion of guest workers was relatively high. In September 2000, however, there were pogroms by the Libyan unemployed against African guest workers. As a result, 331 alleged perpetrators were charged the following January. There were similar pogroms at the beginning of the civil war in 2011, as Gaddafi has demonstrably hired foreign mercenaries from many African countries to put down the uprising.

Since the fall of Gaddafi in 2011, relations with the African states have cooled slightly, as the new government of Gaddafi's prestigious project, the AU, is no longer available as a major donor. Even though the majority of African states had already recognized the National Transitional Council as a legitimate transitional government, the AU refused to officially recognize the NTC.

Relations with Western States

The striving for Arab unity , which Libya's foreign policy has represented for decades, was linked to a pronounced and aggressive hostility towards Israel and the USA , which the Arab states accuse of hegemonic claims. Gaddafi tried to get other African governments to adopt a negative attitude towards Israel, which he partially succeeded in the 1980s. Relations with the USA also deteriorated because of Libya's support for anti-Israeli and anti-American terrorist groups.

After the sinking of two Libyan warships by the US Navy in Operation Attain Document in March 1986 and the bomb attack on the La Belle discotheque in Berlin on April 5, 1986, organized in return by the Libyan side, the US Air Force bombed on the night of April 14, 1986 On April 15, 1986 in Operation El Dorado Canyon, the two largest Libyan cities Tripoli and Benghazi . According to controversial information from the Libyan government, Gaddafi's adopted daughter Hana is said to have died, but it is suspected that she is still alive.

Following the Lockerbie attack on a US passenger plane in retaliation for these air strikes by Libya in December 1988 and the Libyan refusal to hand over the two suspected intelligence agents to the British judiciary, the UN Security Council imposed a series of sanctions on the country in 1993 which were only relaxed again in 1999 after Gaddafi gave in and the two suspects were transferred to the International Criminal Court .

In all cases in which Libya was charged with terrorist attacks, serious doubts arose about its perpetrator. In the case of the La Belle discotheque, the results of the investigation indicated Syria's involvement , as the West Berlin police and the State Department announced in 1988. In the Lockerbie and UTA flight 772 cases, there are also indications that Syria, Iran or the Palestinian PFLP-GC were perpetrators . Libya was then burdened because the US, the UK and France shied away from a confrontation with these two states before the Second Gulf War .

In the Second Gulf War in 1990, Libya sided with Iraq .

In August 2000, Libya brokered the release of captured Western hostages for Islamic terrorists in the Philippines .

After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 , Gaddafi condemned the acts of violence and expressly accepted the US right to self-defense.

After further admissions and compensation payments for the relatives of the Lockerbie victims and the victims of another bomb attack on a French airliner in September 1989 ( UTA flight 772 ), the embargo measures were completely lifted in September 2003. In addition, the Libyan government agreed to pay compensation for the victims of the bomb attack on the La Belle discotheque in Berlin .

Gaddafi repeatedly tried to get hold of NBC weapons . In 1989 the New York Times revealed that a West German company was building a plant for the production of mustard gas in Libya . Under the guise of the left-wing Austrian “MOZ” publishing house, which Gaddafi had financed since 1984, Libyan businessmen in Austria bought large quantities of chemicals that could be used for poison gas production. When the civil war began in 2011, significant amounts of mustard gas were still in Libyan arsenals. Since the mid-1990s, Gaddafi also tried to get hold of nuclear weapons technology. He was supported by Abdul Kadir Khan , the "father of the Pakistani nuclear program". In October 2003 a German ship sailing to Libya, the "BBC China", was seized. Nuclear technology was on board, including 1000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment. In December 2003, Gaddafi declared that Libya would renounce weapons of mass destruction and at the beginning of 2004 had numerous components for chemical weapons destroyed. On March 10, 2004, Libya also signed the so-called Additional Protocol to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty , thereby granting the International Atomic Energy Agency extensive control over the country's nuclear facilities, whereupon France , Great Britain and, in May 2006, the United States reestablished diplomatic relations with Libya and continued to do so no longer assigned to the group of so-called rogue states . Instead, Libya subsequently became a sought-after partner in the fight against illegal immigration , especially to Italy, which also led European states to urge the lifting of the arms embargo against Libya.

On July 17, 2007, the internationally criticized, partly politically regarded HIV trial in Libya against five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor ended after seven years with the defendants leaving for their home countries. In 2008, after the arrest of Gaddafi's son Hannibal in the canton of Geneva, a diplomatic disgruntlement broke out between Libya and Switzerland , in the course of which Gaddafi declared jihad on Switzerland .

Since the fall of Gaddafi, the country's foreign policy has started to open up under the transitional government, especially towards the western states, as they had helped overthrow the regime.

Military and police

Libyan Su-22M-3K

The armed forces of Libya consisted of around 119,000 men in 2010, with the army maintaining 50,000, the air force 18,000 and the navy 8,000 men. 25,000 soldiers were draftees at the time. As a reserve, 40,000 men served as the people's militia. The People's Committee for Defense decided on the deployment. 3,000 men belonged to the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard ( Libyan Revolutionary Guard ), which were directly subordinate to revolutionary leader Muammar al-Gaddafi.

The air strikes of the international coalition in 2011 destroyed large parts of the navy and the air force as well as the armored ground vehicles of Libya. The unstable security situation during the civil war also meant that most of the population carried weapons.

Since the end of the civil war, large parts of the country have been under the control of revolutionary brigades that do not submit to the National Transitional Council. The new defense minister Usama al-Juwaili wants to integrate these units into the regular Libyan armed forces, the police and other institutions of the new government. The chairman of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil , hopes that by the beginning of April 2012 70–80% of the revolutionaries will be integrated. In November 2011, representatives of the brigades announced that they would keep their weapons until there was a new, legitimate government that had emerged from elections. Another difficulty in integrating the revolutionary brigades is the desolate situation in the state finances. In 2013, some militias blocked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Justice, as former supporters of Gaddafi work there. The government then relented and passed a law prohibiting former supporters of Gaddafi from working for the government.

Administrative structure

The largest cities are (as of 2007): Tripoli 1,780,000 inhabitants, Benghazi 650,629 inhabitants, Misrata 386,120 inhabitants, al-Aziziyya 287,407 inhabitants, Tarhuna 210,697 inhabitants and al-Chums 201,943 inhabitants.

Current structure

The classic three regions of Libya are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. Libya was divided in this form until 1963. In 1928 the Italian colonizers in Tripolitania numbered 596,000 and in Cyrenaica 195,000 people, the Fessan was then partly administered by France and Great Britain and not counted separately. According to data from 2004, 63.7% of the population lived in Tripolitania, 7.8% in Fezzan and 28.5% in Cyrenaica.

The last territorial reform took place in 2007, in which the 32 Schaʿbiyyat  /شعبيات / šaʿbīyāt  / 'Munizipien' (singular:شعبية, DMG šaʿbīya ‚Munizip ') have been replaced by 22 Schaʿbiyyat .

Tripartite division of Libya after the Second World War and during the UN trust administration (1943 / 47–1951)
The three historical governorates of Libya (1951–1963)
Niger Tschad Sudan Ägypten Algerien Tunesien Munizip Bengasi Munizip al-Mardsch Munizip al-Dschabal al-Achdar Munizip Darna Munizip al-Butnan Munizip an-Nuqat al-Chams Munizip az-Zawiya Munizip Tripolis Munizip al-Dschifara Munizip al-Murgub Munizip Misrata Munizip Wadi al-Haya Munizip Sabha Munizip Surt Munizip Nalut Munizip al-Dschabal al-Gharbi Munizip Wadi asch-Schati' Munizip al-Wahat Munizip Ghat Munizip Murzuq Munizip al-Kufra Munizip al-Dschufra
Current administrative structure of Libya

(22 schaʿbiyyat ; since 2007 )
شعبية Shaʿbiyya 2007 Residents 2006 Digit main place predecessor
البطنان al-butnane 159,536 1 Tobruk identical
درنة Darna 163.351 2 Darna Darna and al-Quba
الجبل الاخضر al-Jabal al-Achdar 203.156 3 al-Baida identical
المرج al-Marj 185,848 4th al-Marj identical
بنغازي Benghazi 670.797 5 Benghazi Benghazi and
al-Hizam al-Achdar
الواحات al-Wahat 177.047 6th Ajdabiya al-Wahat,
north of al-Kufra
الكفرة al-Kufra 50.104 7th al-Jauf Northern strip ceded
to al-Wahat
سرت Surt 141,378 8th Surt Western territories ceded
to Misrata and al-Dschufra
مرزق Murzuq 78,621 22nd Murzuk Northeast area ceded
to al-Dschufra
سبها Sabha 134.162 19th Sabha identical
وادي الحياة Wadi al-Haya 76,858 20th Awbari almost identical
مصراتة Misrata 550.938 9 Misrata Bani Walid and Misrata
المرقب al-Murgub 432.202 10 al-Chums Tarhuna Wa Msalata
and al-Murgub
طرابلس Tripoli 1,065,405 11 Tripoli Municipality of Tajura 'wa-n-Nawahi al-Arbaʿ
and Tarabulus
الجفارة al-Jifara 453.198 12th al-'Aziziyah
الزاوية az-Zawiya 290.993 13th az-Zawiya az-Zawiya ,
Sabrata wa-Surman
and northern Yafran
النقاط الخمس an-Nuqat al-Chams 287,662 14th Zuwara identical
الجبل الغربي al-Jebel al-Gharbi 304.159 15th Gharyan Mizda , Gharyan,
and southern Yafran
نالوت Nalut 93,224 16 Nalut Nalut and Ghadames
غات Ghat 23,518 21 Ghat identical
الجفرة al-Jufra 52,342 17th Hon Territory gains from
Surt and Murzuq
وادي الشاطئ Municipality of Wadi ash-Shati ' 78,532 18th Adiri identical

Structure 2001–2007

Until 2007 there were 32 municipalities in Libya. The Arabic term for a Libyan administrative unit is Scha'biya (plural: Sha'biyat , English: Popularate ). Until 1983 Libya was divided into ten governorates , since then territorial reforms have taken place very often, see above

  • 1983: Division into 46 districts
  • 1987: Division into 25 baladiya
  • 1995: Division into 13 Baladiya
  • 1999: Division into 26 Shabiya
  • 2001: Division into 32 Shabiya
  • 2007: Division into 22 Shabiya
Administrative division in Libya 2001–2007
No. شعبية Shabiya
2003 residents
1 إجدابيا Ajdabiya 165.839 91,620
2 البطنان al-butnane 144,527 83,860
3 الحزام الاخضر al-Hizam al-Achdar 108,860 12,800
4th الجبل الاخضر al-Jabal al-Achdar 194.185 7,800
5 الجفارة al-Jifara 289,340 1,940
6th الجفرة al-Jufra 45.117 117,410
7th الكفرة al-Kufra 51,433 483.510
8th المرج el Merdj 116,318 10,000
9 المرقب Munizip al-Murgub 328.292 3,000
10 النقاط الخمس an-Nuqat al-Chams 208,954 5,250
11 القبة Gubba 93,895 14,722
12th الواحات al-Wahat 29,257 108,670
13th الزاوية az-Zawiya 197.177 1,520
14th بنغازي Benghazi 636.992 800
15th بنى وليد Bani Walid 77,424 19,710
16 درنة Darnah 81,174 4,908
17th غات Ghat 22,770 72,700
18th غدامس Ghadames 19,000 51,750
19th غريان Gharyan 161,408 4,660
20th مرزق Murzuq 68,718 349,790
21 مزدة Mitzda 41,476 72,180
22nd مصراتة Misratah 360.521 2,770
23 نالوت Nalut 86,801 13,300
24 تاجوراء والنواحي الأربع Tajura municipality 'wa-n-Nawahi al-Arbaʿ 267.031 1,430
25th ترهونة و مسلاته Tarhuna Wa Msalata 296.092 5,840
26th طرابلس Tarabulus 882.926 400
27 سبها Sabha 126,610 15,330
28 سرت Surt 156.389 77,660
29 صبراته و صرمان Sabratha Wa Surman 152.521 1,370
30th وادي الحياة Wadi al-Haya 72,587 31,890
31 وادي الشاطئ Municipality of Wadi ash-Shati ' 77.203 97.160
32 يفرن Yafran 117,647 9,310
  ليبيا Libya 5,678,484 1,775,060


The Libyan economy was heavily influenced by planned economy elements with import bans, price controls and state-controlled distribution. Social policy measures have been taken since the 1969 revolution; Subsidizing basic foodstuffs, electricity, petrol and gas, housing construction programs, raising minimum wages , and since 1973 employee participation in company profits. Since 1992, however, nationalized real estate has been privatized again. As a result of these social policy measures, Libya was the country with the smallest wealth gap in Africa. The education sector has been built up, school attendance is compulsory from 6 to 15 years of age, school attendance is free.

From 2002, the Libyan government under Muammar al-Gaddafi pursued a cautious course of liberalization, which was noticeable in a significant increase in growth. Real economic growth since 2003 has been regularly above 5%. In 2005 the real growth was 6.3%, the preliminary growth in 2006 was given as 5.6%, for 2007 9.2% was estimated and for 2008 8.8% was expected. Last but not least, the significant increase in the price of oil allowed the government to accelerate reforms. At the end of March 2007, Libya's first stock exchange was opened in Benghazi. The government privatized the state-owned Sahara Bank and decided on further privatization measures in the economy. In 2007 Libya was one of the most corrupt countries in the world (ranked 146 out of 178 according to the Corruption Perception Index in 2010) on a par with Cameroon , Ivory Coast , Haiti , Iran , Nepal , Paraguay and Yemen . Libya was the richest country in Africa towards the end of the Gaddafi era, but since the start of the uprisings and the civil war that followed, its per capita gross domestic product has halved.

In the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of Transparency International , the country, along with Sudan and Yemen, was ranked 170th out of 176 countries (as of 2016).

Oil and gas fields, pipelines and refineries

Since the country has rich oil reserves, 70% of the GDP in 2005 came from oil and natural gas. Accordingly, all other economic sectors played a subordinate role: agriculture 2.9%, mining 0.8%, manufacturing 1.4%, electricity, gas, water 0.7%, construction 3.3%, trade, hotel and catering 5 , 3%, transportation, warehousing and communication 3.7%, public services 8.6%.

In 2004 the unemployment rate was given as 30%. The inflation rate was 10.4% in 2008 and 2.0% in 2009. With a human development index of 0.784, Libya (even after the start of the civil war in 2011 ) is considered by the United Nations to be the most developed country on the African continent.

After the Libyan revolution in 2011 and the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime, the newly elected interim government planned to introduce Sharia law by 2015. Interest should therefore be banned. On October 12, 2013, pro-government militias kidnapped Prime Minister Ali Seidan in a dispute over the distribution of funds in Libya .

In the  Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Libya ranks 134th out of 137 countries (as of 2017-2018).


In the few agriculturally usable areas on the coast, mainly wheat, barley, vegetables, olives, almonds, citrus fruits and dates are grown. Despite the small amount of arable land in Libya, date cultivation accounts for 2–5% of world production. Olive cultivation also accounts for 1–3% of world production (as of 2006). As early as the 2000s, the government forced irrigation of fields in the desert, which many environmental groups have criticized as harmful to the environment.


Libya has the largest oil reserves in Africa. Therefore, the largely nationalized economy of Libya is based on the rich oil and natural gas reserves.

The largest cement factories in Libya are the LCC and ACC factories. After the end of the US embargo in 2004, branches of ABB, Siemens and other international companies were reopened in Libya. Because of the oil production, there are numerous refineries, especially in the coastal areas. There is also a textile and food industry.

In August 2013, oil production in Libya fell to an estimated low of 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

Foreign trade

According to the CIA Factbook, exports in 2010 (to Italy 32%, People's Republic of China 9%, Spain 9%, Germany 8%, and USA 5%) amounted to US $ 41.9 billion. Under the brand name Tamoil , Libya operates its own refineries and petrol station networks of the same name in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. The rest of the industry is limited to the chemical, textile, furniture and building materials sectors.

Machinery, food, iron and steel were imported (from Italy 16.3%, China 10.3%, Turkey 10%, France 6.8%, Germany 6%, Egypt 6%, Republic of Korea 6% and Tunisia 4%) and automobiles valued at $ 24.3 billion.


Due to the political isolation in the past, tourism is insignificant but has great potential. So far only sparsely visited tourist destinations such as the ancient cities of Leptis Magna , Sabrata and Cyrene , famous oasis cities such as Ghadames as well as many Mesolithic rock paintings in the southern desert could benefit from the recent political opening of the country.

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditures equivalent to US $ 13.7 billion , which was offset by revenues equivalent to US $ 5.8 billion. This results in a budget deficit of 23.8% of GDP . The budget deficit in relation to economic output was thus the highest in the world. In December 2015, Libya still had foreign exchange reserves of 70 billion dollars.

The national debt in 2009 was $ 4 billion, or 6.5% of GDP.

In 2006 the share of government expenditure (as a percentage of GDP) was in the following areas:

On January 30, 2012, the IMF warned that government finances were in a "dangerous" condition. There is a $ 10 billion deficit in the 2012 budget and the government is struggling to pay salaries and bills for energy. According to the chairman of the transition council, oil revenues were only $ 5 billion in the previous five months, but wages and energy costs were $ 14 billion a year. Of the US $ 100 billion frozen and released again by the sanctions, only US $ 6 billion is back in the country; one is working on preserving the rest as well. At the same time, they are preparing the organizational structures together with the local councils so that public employees can be paid as soon as the money is there. It is expected that this process will be completed by February 17, 2012.

On February 6, 2012, it became known that several million dollars from the frozen and now released assets of the Gaddafi family had been stolen by corrupt officials of the new government and smuggled out of the country in suitcases via ports. Finance Minister Hassan Siglam threatened to resign unless the government either takes control of the ports or suspends the return of the frozen funds.


Libya's infrastructure


Libya has ports in Tobruk (natural port ), Tripoli , Benghazi , Misurata , Mersa Brega and several oil shipping ports .

The international airports are Tripoli International Airport , Mitiga Airport and Benghazi Airport .

With around 47,600 km of paved roads and around 35,600 km of slopes, the country has a comparatively very good infrastructure for the region.

Two existing narrow-gauge lines in Tripoli and Benghazi were closed in 1965. A completely new standard gauge rail network is currently being built in Libya , which is intended to close the gap in North Africa's rail network between Tunisia and Egypt in the long term . First of all, the section between Sirte and Benghazi will be double-tracked, on which diesel-powered trains will first run; later the line will be electrified. The line is to be equipped with ETCS . In addition to the coastal railway, an almost 1,000 km long route towards Niger is being built.

In 2013, Libya had the highest number of road fatalities in relation to the number of inhabitants in the world.


The Umm al-Ma See lake in Libya

In 1984, Libya began systematically extracting ice-age freshwater resources in the Sahara . The largest freshwater project in the world to date started with the Great Man Made River Project . With this, the country not only wants to make itself independent of food imports, but also to become an agricultural exporting state. According to Gaddafi, there is no alternative to the GMMR project for supplying drinking water to the population. However, the medium-term development of costs in view of the enormous construction and maintenance costs is questionable. It is undisputed that the GMMR project represents a huge educational and infrastructure measure and guarantees Libya's economic stability after the oil wells have dried up, although it is still uncertain how large the underground freshwater resources are and thus the duration and functioning of the project. However, with the fall of Gaddafi and the rise of power by the rebels in 2011, the continuation of this policy is now questionable.

Nuclear program

In the 1970s, Libya wanted to buy a reactor from the Soviet Union and build the Sirt nuclear power plant . However, the planning was stopped.

As a result, Libya also worked on developing its own nuclear (weapon) technology. Abdul Kadir Khan , the "father of the Islamic atomic bomb" and chief developer of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, confessed to the Pakistani secret service in 2004 that he had also provided Libya with secret nuclear weapons plans in the past.

After Libyan head of state Gaddafi declared the country's renunciation of weapons of mass destruction in December 2003, Libya granted the International Atomic Energy Agency extensive control over the country's nuclear facilities by signing the so-called Additional Protocol to the Non-Proliferation Treaty on March 10, 2004.

In July 2007, Gaddafi and the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed a letter of intent to build a nuclear power plant.


The telecommunications sector is primarily subordinate to the state company General Posts and Telecommunications Company (GPTC), which was founded in 1984 and was run by Gaddafi's eldest son Mohammed until the outbreak of the civil war .

The number of landlines in the country rose from 105,000 in 1974 to 1.28 million in 2009. The two largest cities, Tripoli and Benghazi, have been linked by a submarine cable since 1971 , and in 1999 a fiber optic cable connection was installed by Alcatel along the coast between Zuwara and Tobruk . There are also international connections to Italy, Malta and France as well as a direct telephone connection to Tunisia. A planned submarine cable between Libya and Greece was planned for 2011, but the completion of the project was delayed due to the civil war, the completion then took place in January 2013.

A mobile network has existed in the country since 1997. In 2009 the country had 10.9 million users, divided between the two companies al-Madar and Libyana. When the government cut ties to the east of the country at the beginning of the uprising in February 2011, activists took over parts of the Libyana network in April 2011 and founded their own society, which they called Libyana al Hura (Free Libyana).

The number of Internet users was given as 353,900 users in 2009, and Libya Telecom and Technology (LTT), a subsidiary of GPTC, founded in 1997, is the country's only Internet provider. During the civil war there were repeated disruptions and failures, all connections could only be restored after the conquest of Tripoli, but the speed remained very low due to the destroyed infrastructure and increasing use. The State of the Internet report 2011 published by Akamai ranked Libya as the country with the slowest Internet access in the world. In July 2012, the government decided to open the Internet market to private companies. This is to end the monopoly of the state LTT. In 2016, 21.1% of the population used the internet.


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Web links

Wiktionary: Libya  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Libya  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
 Wikinews: Libya  - in the news
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Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Constitutional Declaration - Constitution of Libya Art. 1 (PDF; 79.23 kB; translation into English).
  2. population, total. In: World Economic Outlook Database. World Bank , 2020, accessed March 14, 2021 .
  3. Population growth (annual%). In: World Economic Outlook Database. World Bank , 2020, accessed March 14, 2021 .
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  6. Stefan Kleiner: The codification of the German standard pronunciation as reflected in the factual variability of the standard of use. In: Albrecht Plewnia, Andreas Witt (Ed.): Sprachverfall? Dynamics - change - variation. Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-034291-8 , e- ISBN 978-3-11-034300-7 , p. 290 ( limited preview in Google book search)
  7. Duden , online edition .
  8. ليبيا تودع «الجماهيرية» وتعتمد «الدولة» مؤقتا, الأولـــــى. (No longer available online.) In: January 27, 2013, archived from the original on April 11, 2014 ; Retrieved July 2, 2019 (Arabic).
  9. ^ Libya Changes Official Name. Accessed December 31, 2018 .
  10. ^ Vandewalle, Dirk: A History of Modern Libya , Cambridge University Press 2012, ISBN 978-1-107-61574-8 , p. 13 f.
  11. What role does Russia play in the Libyan chaos? , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , February 4, 2017.
  12. ↑ A race without a goal , Süddeutsche Zeitung , February 15, 2017.
  13. What comes after IS , Spiegel Online , September 14, 2016.
  14. Diary from Purgatory , Spiegel Online , August 20, 2015.
  15. Fritz Schaap: Libya: A life in fear of the militias . In: Spiegel Online . July 12, 2019 ( [accessed July 14, 2019]).
  16. Slave trade in Libya: "God only knows what we have been through" , Deutschlandfunk , November 27, 2017.
  17. Found hell in Libya , Spiegel Online , November 28, 2017.
  18. Foreign Office criticizes “conditions similar to concentration camps” , Die Welt , January 29, 2017.
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  26. a b c d CIA World Fact Book Libya. Retrieved November 2, 2011 .
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  28. ^ Thomas Hüsken: Political Culture and the Revolution in the Cyrenaica ; Awni S. Al-Ani: Libyen, daughter of the UN , in: Fritz Edlinger (Ed.), Libyen , Wien 2011, pp. 63, 110, ISBN 978-3-85371-330-3 .
  29. ^ Addressing the migrant situation in Libya. European Commission, February 26, 2018, accessed November 12, 2018 .
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  31. Libya is a war zone. Why is the EU still sending refugees back there? In: The Guardian . October 4, 2018, accessed November 12, 2018 .
  32. Exclusive: Internal diplomatic report on “concentration camp-like” conditions in Libyan refugee camps. In: FragDenStaat. Retrieved February 2, 2019 .
  33. Libya. UNHCR, accessed July 15, 2019 .
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  36. Gerrit Hoekmann, Between Olive Branch and Kalashnikov, History and Politics of the Palestinian Left , Münster 1999, ISBN 3-928300-88-1 , p. 39.
  37. Karin El Minawi, Emancipation above the clouds , Süddeutsche Zeitung, October 28, 2010
  38. Andreas Vrabl: "Libya: A Third World - Revolution in Transition" , diploma thesis, Vienna 2008, pp. 68–71 (PDF; 2.8 MB).
  39. Libya pledges to treat victims of war news portal on February 14, 2012.
  40. Jordan hospitals struggle with Libya patients Al Jazeera on February 4, 2012.
  41. Vandewalle 2012, p. 16
  42. ^ Fritz Edlinger (ed.): Libya. Background, analyzes, reports , Vienna 2011, p. 14.
  43. UN Resolution 289 IV: "Question of the Disposal of the former Italian Colonies" , Nov. 21, 1949
  44. - New Parline: the IPU's Open Data Platform (beta). In: Retrieved December 25, 2018 .
  45. United Nations Development Program: Human Development Report 2007/2008 . New York, 2007, ISBN 978-0-230-54704-9 , p. 344
  46. ^ After Mart Martin: The Almanac of Women and Minorities in World Politics. Westview Press Boulder, Colorado, 2000, p. 233, as early as 1963.
  47. LIBYA / MILITARY REGIME: Nudes removed . In: Der Spiegel . tape 49 , December 1, 1969 ( [accessed September 2, 2018]).
  48. Text of the Constitutional Proclamation 1969/1992
  49. ^ Text of the Declaration on the Establishment of the Authority of the People
  50. ^ Seumas Milne, If the Libyan war was about saving lives, it was a catastrophic failure , The Guardian , October 26, 2011.
  51. see homepage of the US Committee of the Blue Shield, accessed on October 26, 2016; Isabelle-Constance v. Opalinski “Shots on Civilization” in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from August 20, 2014; Hans Haider "Misuse of cultural goods is punishable" in Wiener Zeitung on June 29, 2012.
  52. See Peter Stone Inquiry: Monuments Men in Apollo - The International Art Magazine, February 2, 2015; Mehroz Baig When War Destroys Identity in Worldpost on May 12, 2014; Fabian von Posser World Heritage sites bombed, cultural treasures sold in Die Welt on November 5, 2013; Rüdiger Heimlich, the desert city of Palmyra: Protecting cultural heritage before it is destroyed in the Berliner Zeitung on March 28, 2016
  53. ^ UN: Libya before the collapse Deutsche Welle of April 27, 2015
  54. ^ President Obama: Libya aftermath 'worst mistake' of presidency. BBC News, April 11, 2016, accessed April 11, 2016 .
  55. ↑ The advance of IS , Der Tagesspiegel, February 20, 2015
  56. ^ Black flags on the Mediterranean , Neue Zürcher Zeitung, February 20, 2015
  57. a b Steinmeier gathers Libya's warring parties in Berlin, June 10, 2015
  58. Steinmeier against Chaos: Two Libyan governments meet in Berlin NTV, June 10, 2010
  59. Libya hopes for a peaceful Ramadan Deutsche Welle. June 10, 2015
  60. Libyan governments surprisingly come to an agreement , .
  61. Libya is sinking into chaos , Neue Zürcher Zeitung , accessed on November 23, 2016.
  62. ^ Fragile States Index: Global Data. Fund for Peace , 2020, accessed January 15, 2021 .
  63. ^ Democracy Index. The Economist Intelligence Unit, accessed February 6, 2021 .
  64. Global Freedom Score. Freedom House , 2020, accessed January 15, 2021 .
  65. 2020 World Press Freedom Index. Reporters Without Borders , 2020, accessed January 15, 2021 .
  66. Transparency International Deutschland eV: CPI 2020: Tabular ranking list. Retrieved March 12, 2021 .
  67. ^ High National Election Commission: Press Release June 16, 2012 ( memento of October 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive ), accessed June 30, 2012.
  68. Fragile stabilization and democratization process on the website of the Federal Foreign Office .
  69. ^ Vice-Prime Minister elected head of government in Libya , Reuters, September 13, 2012 (accessed September 15, 2012).
  70. ^  Afp and dpa: Election: Libya's transition council bans religious parties. In: Zeit Online . April 25, 2012, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  71. How Libya wants to drive out the ghost of Gaddafi. In: Spiegel Online. January 6, 2012, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  74. a b Troubling news from Libya , Basler Zeitung , January 3, 2012.
  75. Sherifa Zuhur: Gender, Sexuality and the Criminal Laws in the Middle East and North Africa: A Comparative Study. 2005. ( PDF ( Memento of November 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive )).
  76. Libyan Trial Shows Judicial Chaos  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. AP report on ABC News on February 15, 2012.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  79. Sebastian Gierke: Violence in Libya - Black Africans suffer from the rebels' thirst for revenge. In: September 6, 2011, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  80. Dozens of dead in tribal fighting in Libya. In: March 27, 2012, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  81. ( Memento from April 14, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  82. Salafists apparently etch crosses out of the skin of Christians. In: March 1, 2013, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  83. ^ Alfred Hackensberger: Is a counter-revolution beginning in Libya? In: January 25, 2012, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  84. Torture allegations against Libyan security forces. In: January 26, 2012, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  85. Libyan ex-ambassador apparently tortured to death. In: . February 3, 2012, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  86. UNSMIL puts long-term detention of Libyan prisoners without trial under spotlight , Libya Herald, September 13, 2017
  87. Maximilian Popp, Dominik Peters: Libya: How Russia and Turkey rule the country. In: Der Spiegel. Retrieved March 20, 2021 .
  88. ^ Libya's rebels open embassy in Washington , accessed August 3, 2011
  89. Is the African Union still backing Gaddafi? (English).
  90. New Libyan ambassador for Germany ( Memento from September 11, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) - exclusive announcement of the ftd August 25, 2011.
  91. UN Security Council loosens sanctions in Libya. In: September 16, 2011, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  92. ^ Libya - Embassies and Consulates. Retrieved August 9, 2011 .
  93. Commissioning of the first pan-African satellite Rascom QAF in Libya. Archived from the original on September 16, 2011 ; Retrieved August 9, 2011 .
  94. Africans as Scapegoats: Pogroms in Libya. Retrieved August 9, 2011 .
  95. Thomas Gutschker: Sheet metal fist in concrete bunkers. In: March 6, 2011, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  96. Florian Flade: The secret life of Hana Gaddafi. In: August 28, 2011, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  97. ^ German Is Seized In Disco Bombing , New York Times, January 12, 1988
  98. Bomb Suspect Hero; Syria Tie Probed , Los Angeles Times, Jan. 12, 1988
  99. New Lockerbie report says Libyan was framed to conceal the real bombers , The Independent, March 11, 2014
  100. Les preuves trafiquées du terrorisme libya , Pierre Péan, Le Monde diplomatique, March 2001 (French)
  101. Lockerbie bombing 'was work of Iran, not Libya' says former spy , The Telegraph, March 10, 2014
  102. ^ The German Problem , William Safire, New York Times, Jan. 2, 1989
  103. Revolutionary weirdos: How the German and Austrian Greens made a pilgrimage to Tripoli and were sponsored by Gaddafi , profil (magazine) | profil, March 12, 2011
  104. The German Heritage in Libya's Desert. In: Retrieved December 8, 2014 .
  105. Ship data at
  106. Antoine Vitkine, Gaddafi - Our Best Enemy, France in 2010 ; English version, broadcast on Special Broadcasting Service | SBS , 1'07 20-1'17 43
  107. Jürgen Dahlkamp, ​​Georg Mascolo, Holger Stark: Engineers of death . In: Der Spiegel . No. 7 , 2005 ( online ).
  108. US Department of State: Country Reports on Terrorism 2008. ( Memento of May 4, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  109. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 26, 2011, p. 4.
  110. Libya: Background and US Relations (PDF; 494 kB), p. 27.
  111. Libya to include rebels in military from January Reuters on December 26, 2011
  112. Libya sees $ 10 bln budget deficit in 2012 - paper Reuters on February 2, 2012.
  113. David D. Kirkpatrick: Fighting May Outlast the Revolution in the New York Times on November 1, 2011.
  114. a b Libya sees $ 10 bln budget deficit in 2012- paper Reuters on February 2, 2012.
  115. Libya: Militias block ministries in Tripoli. In: April 30, 2013, accessed December 8, 2014 .
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  119. شعبيات الجماهيرية العظمى Shaʿbiyyat of the Great Jamahiriya ( Memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on May 10, 2009 (Arabic).
  120. Libsche population statistics. Geohive, archived from the original on October 15, 2009 ; Retrieved October 30, 2009 (English, Arabic).
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  123. ( Memento from February 25, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
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  129. "The government is too weak to protect the prime minister" .
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  132. ^ The World Factbook - Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved July 20, 2017 .
  133. ^ The Fischer World Almanac 2010: Figures Data Facts, Fischer, Frankfurt, September 8, 2009, ISBN 978-3-596-72910-4
  134. Maggie Michael: A year after uprising, militias hold sway in Libya AP - Article on US News on February 17, 2012
  135. Global status report on road safety 2015. Retrieved March 30, 2018 (British English).
  136. Pakistan: Nuclear scientist Khan - "I have protected my country from nuclear blackmail". In: May 17, 2011, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  137. ^ Agreement with France - Libya receives nuclear reactor. In: May 17, 2010, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  138. a b c d e Libya - the pearl of the east, accessed on July 22, 2012
  139. a b c CIA World Fact Book (accessed July 22, 2012)
  140. Third Libyan undersea broadband cable goes live
  141. Matthias Kremp: Rebels are building their own cell phone network. In: Spiegel Online. April 14, 2011, accessed December 8, 2014 .
  142. a b Beyond LTT: The State of Libya's Internet (accessed July 30, 2012).
  143. a b ISP market to be opened up , Libya Herald, July 27, 2012. (accessed July 30, 2012)
  144. Internet Users by Country (2016) - Internet Live Stats. Retrieved July 20, 2017 .

Coordinates: 26 °  N , 18 °  E