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A New Future for Libya? Libya’s Conflict Since al-Gaddafi's Overthrow and the 2021 Libya Elections

Dec 24, 2021 08:00AM ● By Oga Africa

(Woman in Libya hangs her laundry. Image by EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid via Flickr )

Happy Independence Day, Libya! On December 24th, 1951, Libya was declared an independent nation under King Idris I and was emancipated from France and Italy. In honor of independence, we are exploring the North African country’s 10 years of conflict post-Gaddafi, and the state of its 2021 presidential and parliamentary elections.

In 2011, neighboring North African countries like Egypt and Tunisia revolted against a dwindling economy, and Libya joined in on this battle by protesting their political and economical hardships in the streets. Through a 2011 NATO-assisted intervention, former president Muammar Gadaffi’s regime was overthrown and the controversial leader was killed.

After former president Gaddafi was overthrown, factions developed and separated the oil-rich country. Since then, a civil war has ravaged the country and its economy, with factions battling, in their geographical locations, for political power. Multiple countries and institutions, including the UN, Qatar, Egypt, UAE, Turkey, Russia, and more, have backed various factions. 

Security in the country is volatile. The elections and new president may usher in a new period of stability in the country. The various factions in Libya have entered into a truce since October, with the United Nations-supported presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled to take place at the end of December.

(Libyans celebrating al-Gadaffi’s overthrow. Image by North Atlantic Treaty Organization via Flickr)

The United Nations continues to play a major role in the political happenings of Libya. There are many different alliances, including factions in the country and their foreign supporters, who could benefit from being elected this year.

This month, Libya missed the final presidential candidate announcement deadline. There are an estimated 98 Libyan politicians who have registered to run for the presidency, including Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of Muammar Gadaffi, and Marshall Khalifa Haftar, a politician who has control over the East and West portions of Libya. The future of the country is unclear, and it is uncertain whether the December 24 elections will commence on time. Learn more about the events that led up to Gaddafi’s overthrow here:

Libyan Independence Day The Politics of Muammar al-Gaddafi

Libyan Independence Day: The Politics of Muammar al-Gaddafi

On Libyan Independence Day, we take a look inside the political ideologies of former Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. Read More » 



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