Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
|Official Name||Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya|
الجماهيرية العربية الليبية الشعبية الاشتراكية العظمى
|Head of State||Muammar al-Qadhafi|
|Prime Minister||Baghdadi Mahmudi|
|GDP||50.3 billion USD|
|Population||6 036 914||Members|
Libya in Modern HistoryEdit
In September of 1969, Muammar al-Qadhafi staged the September Revolution in which he and a number of military officers overthrew then-reigning King Idriss in a bloodless coup, the king being in Turkey at the time.
Tanks and troops entered the capital of Tripoli in the early morning hours, surrounding the palace and security headquarters. The king's heir, Crown Prince Hassan, announced his support for the new regime, now called the Libyan Arab Republic. Countries such as Egypt and Iraq quickly recognized the new regime. The United Kingdom also stated that the coup would not subvert the good relations then existing between the two countries. At the time, Britain had numerous engineering projects ongoing in Libya and was Libya's largest supplier of arms.
The Revolutionary Command Council, stated the aims of the revolution to be for "unity, freedom and socialism" but threatened harshness against any who would seek to remove the revolutionaries from power.
Sanctions Against LibyaEdit
In the early 1980s, Libya was placed under sanctions by the United States due to suspected links to terrorism. The U.S. initiated travel bans in 1981 and ceased importing oil in 1982. After the Berlin Disco Bombing in 1986, a total ban was placed on import and export with Libya. In 1996, the United States passed the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, which was further expanded in 2001 to allow the U.S. to punish non-U.S. firms that invested more than $20 million in Libya's energy sector.
After Libyan agents were implicated in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, in 1992, the United Nations also moved to enact sanctions against Libya including an air and arms embargo and the banning of the sale of oil equipment until the accused bomb plotters were handed over to international courts. Libya surrendered the suspects in 1999.
In 2003, after Libya agreed to a $2.7 billion compensation package for the families of the victims of the Lockerbie disaster and after renouncing its programs toward developing Weapons of Mass Destruction, Britain drafted a security council resolution to end U.N. sanctions against Libya which passed on 12 September. The lifting of U.N. sanctions was followed by an end to U.S. trade embargoes in April and September of 2004, and the European Union weapons embargo was lifted in October, 2004.
As a result of these sanctions, much of Libya's enormous oil wealth has remained untapped. This is due to the inability of Libya to import the equipment and parts needed to maintain its energy infrastructure but also limitations on foreign companies who would form partnerships. As such, with the ending of sanctions, Libya represents a phenomenal opportunity for petroleum development.
HIV Trial of the Bulgarian MedicsEdit
In 1998, six foreign medical workers (five Bulgarian nurses and one Palestinian medical intern were arrested and charged with deliberately infecting over 400 children with HIV, Hepatitis and other dieseases, at the El-Fath Children's Hospital in Benghazi. (A further 17 had been arrested but released.) The case is considered the largest nosocomial (hospital-induced) case of HIV transmission in history.
Libyan leader Muammar al-Qadhafi has placed the blame for HIV on both the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States and the Mossad of Israel. At an African summit in 2001, he was quoted saying, "CIA laboratories lost control over the virus which they were testing on black Haitian prisoners" and that the case in Benghazi was an "odius crime". "Some said it was the CIA. Others said it was the Mossad Israeli intelligence. They carried out an experiment on these children," he stated.
The court trial and imprisonment of the medical workers lasted until July of 2007. In the first trial, a People's Court decided that they lacked jurisdiction to try the case and passed it over to a criminal court. In 2003, a second trial was conducted by the Benghazi Appeals Court. The verdict here was guilty and a death sentence was issued. A retrial by the Libyan Supreme Court upheld verdict and death sentence. On July 17th, 2007, Libya's High Judicial Council commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment.
A deal was later struck, brokered with the help of [[France | French] president Nicolas Sarkozy that saw the medics returned to Bulgaria where their sentence was overturned by the Bulgarian government. Libya continues to maintain their guilt and protested their release. As part of the deal however, Libya received $461 million toward the Benghazi International Fund and Bulgaria cancelled a $57-million debt held to it by Libya.
United Nations Security CouncilEdit
On October 16, 2007, Libya's return into the diplomatic fold was well-symbolized when it was elected to a much-sought-after seat on the United Nations Security Council. In January of 2008, Ambassador Giadalla Ettalhi of Libya assumed the position of security council president, a rotating position.
Strategies as Libya Edit
Much of Libya's wealth is tied to its petroleum reserves but extraction has been limited due to the previous inability to import needed equipment and parts while under sanctions. With the ending of sanctions, however, players are free to begin negotiating contracts for the exploration of this resource.
Libya holds a modest amount of foreign debt, much of it to Russia for past arms deals. With the ending of the international arms embargo on Libya, some of this debt has come under negotiation with the ultimate goal being for Libya to have it forgiven, in exchange for promises of renewed arms purchases.
With a return to full diplomatic relations with the West, Libya is in a strong position to bargain off its influence and resources and exploit competition amongst world powers that seek to make in roads in Africa. In recent years, Qadhafi has promoted himself as a champion of African unity while distancing himself from other Arab powers, promising to "waste not one more minute" on them.
As a sort of 'prodigal son' of the international community, Qadhafi has also garnered much diplomatic currency in presenting Libya as a shining example of what fate awaits rogue nations that renounce terrorism, make ammends and give up their Weapons of Mass Destruction programs. Though he has accused the West of dragging their feet somewhat, nations such as the United States have sought to hold Libya up as an example to nations such as North Korea and Iran to give up their nuclear weapons programs, suspected or manifested.
Much of Libyan military hardware seems to be mothballed but the nation maintains a modest armed forces, certainly one of the strongest in the region. With the ending of the international arms embargo, Libya has begun signing deals, with France for example that may include arms purchases with an eye on modernization.
It is important to note that although Libya has declared its chemical and nuclear programs, as well as its intention to terminate them, much of the deactivated hardware and components have yet to be destroyed. Libya also has an advanced missile program run out of the Gawat Missile Test Range and they maintain this knowledge.
Libya in Round Eleven Edit
See also: Round 11
Libya was played by Hyalucent in Round 11.
Libya in Round Twelve Edit
See also: Round 12