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A view of the Benghazi port, 2013
A view of the Benghazi port, 2013
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Libya, officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa. Libya borders the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad to the south, Niger to the southwest, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest. Libya comprises three historical regions: Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million km2 (700,000 sq mi), it is the fourth-largest country in Africa and the Arab world, and the 16th-largest in the world. Libya claims 32,000 square kilometers of southeastern Algeria, south of the Libyan town of Ghat. The country's official religion is Islam, with 96.6% of the Libyan population being Sunni Muslims. The official language of Libya is Arabic, with vernacular Libyan Arabic being spoken most widely. The majority of Libya's population is Arab. The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in northwestern Libya and contains over a million of Libya's seven million people.

Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age as descendants from Iberomaurusian and Capsian cultures. In classical antiquity, the Phoenicians established city-states and trading posts in western Libya, while several Greek cities were established in the East. Parts of Libya were variously ruled by Carthaginians, Persians, and Greeks before the entire region becoming a part of the Roman Empire. Libya was an early center of Christianity. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area of Libya was mostly occupied by the Vandals until the 7th century when invasions brought Islam to the region. From then on, centuries of Arab migration to the Maghreb shifted the demographic scope of Libya in favor of Arabs. In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire and the Knights of St John occupied Tripoli until Ottoman rule began in 1551. Libya was involved in the Barbary Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries. Ottoman rule continued until the Italo-Turkish War, which resulted in the Italian occupation of Libya and the establishment of two colonies, Italian Tripolitania and Italian Cyrenaica (1911–1934), later unified in the Italian Libya colony from 1934 to 1943.

During the Second World War, Libya was an area of warfare in the North African Campaign. The Italian population then went into decline. Libya became independent as a kingdom in 1951. A bloodless military coup in 1969, initiated by a coalition led by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, overthrew King Idris I and created a republic. Gaddafi was often described by critics as a dictator, and was one of the world's longest serving non-royal leaders, ruling for 42 years. He ruled until being overthrown and killed during the 2011 Libyan Civil War, which was part of the wider Arab Spring, with authority transferred to the National Transitional Council then to the elected General National Congress. By 2014 two rival authorities claimed to govern Libya, which led to a second civil war, with parts of Libya split between the Tobruk and Tripoli-based governments as well as various tribal and Islamist militias. The two main warring sides signed a permanent ceasefire in 2020, and a unity government took authority to plan for democratic elections, though political rivalries continue to delay this. Libya is a developing country ranking 104th by HDI and has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves in the world. Libya is a member of the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Arab League, the OIC and OPEC.

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The LSE–Gaddafi affair was a scandal in the United Kingdom that occurred as a result of relationship that existed between the London School of Economics (LSE) and the Libyan government and its leader Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

The NGO Gaddafi Foundation pledged to donate £1.5 million over five years to a research centre, LSE Global Governance, of which £300k were paid. In addition, LSE Enterprise established a contract worth £2.2 million to train Libyan officials. In 2008, the LSE granted a PhD degree to Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan leader, for a dissertation. Currently, allegations circulate that Gaddafi's thesis was ghost-written and/or plagiarised. (Full article...)

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The Uganda–Tanzania War of 1978–79 included an air campaign, as the air forces of Uganda and Tanzania battled for air superiority and launched bombing raids. In general, the conflict was focused on air-to-ground attacks and ground-based anti-aircraft fire; only one dogfight is known to have occurred.

The Uganda Army Air Force dominated the air space during the initial Ugandan invasion of northwestern Tanzania, but achieved little due to bad co-ordination with ground forces and a general lack of planning. At the same time, it suffered increasingly heavy losses as pilots deserted, and the Tanzanian anti-aircraft defenses became more effective. The initiative thus switched to the Tanzania Air Defence Command which supported the country's counter-offensive into Uganda. In the conflict's later stages, the Libyan Arab Republic Air Force intervened on the side of Uganda, but failed to make a tangible impact. The Uganda Army Air Force was eventually destroyed on 7 April 1979 when Tanzanian ground forces overran its main air base at Entebbe. The remaining Ugandan loyalist air pilots subsequently fled the country or joined the Libyan military. (Full article...)

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  • ... that to repel migrants, the European Union has paid hundreds of millions of euros to Libyan partners known to be involved in human trafficking, slavery, and torture?


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This page was last updated at 2024-04-16 13:57 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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