+218 is the dialing code for Libya.
Libya first emerged as a political entity during the 20th century, when colonial power merged Italy into three regions. Oil was found around 1960 and soon became the dominant product. The country was ruled by iron hand by Muammar Gaddafi for just over 40 years, until he was toppled in 2011. Since then, more or less chaos has prevailed in Libya. Militias fight each other and control different parts of the territory.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Libya, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Libya is one of Africa’s largest countries, to the surface just over four times as large as Sweden. The country has 200 km of coast towards the Mediterranean, but 90 percent consists of desert. Most residents live along the coast in the north, where there is cultivable land and mountain areas.
Before independence in 1951, Libya had no history as a united state. The residents included one of the three regions of Tripolitania in the northwest, Cyrenaika in the northeast and the desert area of Fezzan in the south.
Tripolitania has a low-lying coast in the north, which gradually increases to the south and forms a plateau landscape. It continues into Fezzan. On the Fezzanic plateau there are extensive sinks where the groundwater reaches the ground surface and forms oases. In the southernmost Fezzan there are mountains with peaks reaching over 2,000 meters above sea level.
|Cultivated land||8.8 %|
|Land area||1759540 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||2.23 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||78.6 %|
|Death rate||3.58 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||78.06 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||74.54 years|
|Birth rate||18.03 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||11.48 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||31940 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per resident||2728.7 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||12000 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||20 million tons|
|Internet users||21.8 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||161 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||290 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||30% of the workforce|
|GDP||14600 per resident|
|Primary occupations||17 %|
|Secondary profession||23 %|
|Tertiary professions||59 %|
A mountain area in northern Cyrenaika is called Jabal al-Akhdar, the Green Mountain, because the mountains are lined with pines, junipers, cypresses, wild olive trees and other evergreen trees. To the south of the mountains lies a belt of pasture, which transforms into a vast desert landscape of cliffs and sand. Agriculture can only be carried out in some scattered oases.
Most of Libya has a desert climate and almost no rainfall at all. The climate in the coastal area is characterized by strong changes in both temperature and humidity. The approximately 400 mm of rainfall that falls annually in the region of Tripolitania in the northwest comes in many cases as severe rainfall. The average temperature in the desert is over 35 degrees in the summer.
Under desert areas, however, there may be natural groundwater reservoirs. At the time of the dictator Gaddafi, an extensive water network was established for water called the Great Artificial River, al-Nahr al-Sinai al-Adhim, and for fresh water, among other things, to cities on the coast.
FACTS – GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
1,759,540 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Egypt
Capital with number of residents
Tripoli 1 000 000
Other major cities
Benghazi 633 000, Misrata 286 000 (2012) 2
Bette (2,286 m asl)
Average Precipitation / month
Tripoli 105 mm (dec), 0 mm (July)
Average / day
Tripoli 26 °C (Aug), 12 °C (Jan)
Limits are closed
Orders that long border sections in the south – towards Niger, Chad, Sudan and Algeria – be temporarily closed; Seven regions in the south are declared military areas with special restrictions. The reason is stated to be that it wants to gain control over lawless areas with large flows of illegal goods and migrants.
The Parliament building is stormed
Hours after the vote, militiamen break in, protesting the government. They claim that several of the future ministers have been close to Gaddafi’s regime.
After first failing the intended prime minister to form government, the assignment went to Ali Zidan. He finally succeeds in getting a government approved, with representatives of both the NFA and JCP. But only two-thirds of the 200 members are present at the vote.
Battles in Bani Walid
At least 22 people are killed and hundreds more injured in fighting between government-friendly militia from Misrata and former Gaddafi soldiers.
Order for arms abandonment
Speaker Magarief orders all militia groups in the country to dissolve, stop carrying weapons in public place and hand over control to the state. After a few days, hundreds of people mainly in Benghazi and Tripoli are reported to have handed weapons to the army. But the authorities estimate that 200,000 Libyans have weapons.
Fighting in Benghazi
At least eleven people die and some 60 are injured in violence two weeks after the attack on the US consulate.
Deadly attack on US consulate
The US Libyan ambassador and three other Americans are killed when armed men storm the US consulate and a CIA office in Benghazi. The attack is gradually becoming a blow in the US domestic debate, with sharp criticism of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her handling of the incident.
The former spy boss is extradited from Mauritania
Abdullah al-Senussi, considered Gaddafi’s right-hand man, is also wanted by the ICC (see June 2011) has also been sentenced to life imprisonment by a French court for the shooting down of aircraft in Niger in 1989. al-Senussi has been detained in Mauritania since March.
New President is elected
The National Congress elects the moderate Islamist Mohammed Magarief as president. In practice, Magarief also becomes head of state.
The National Congress takes over
The National Transitional Council formally hands over power to the elected parliament.
The election is carried out
Despite unrest mainly in Benghazi, the first election in Libya is conducted since the 1960s. The election takes place under tense conditions and some violence and sabotage are reported. By and large, however, the choice is described as well executed. Over a hundred parties are in the elections. The largest will be the National Forces Alliance (NFA), which receives 39 of the National Congress’s 200 seats. The alliance is considered liberal and predominantly secular (non-religious) and is led by Mahmud Jibril, who during his tenure as Prime Minister (see March and October 2011) was supported by the West. Muslim Brotherhood Party, Justice and Reconstruction Party (JCP), gets 17 seats. The majority of the mandate goes to candidates who have been elected as independent.
The choice is postponed
The election, which was to be held on June 29, was postponed for a week. There are unrest in several parts of the country.
Fighting in Zuwara
Berber in the city of western Libya clashes with militia groups from nearby areas where Arab populations predominate. The National Transitional Council sends forces to the area to try to separate the conflicting groups.
Fighting in Sabha
The fighting rages between various militia groups in the city of southern Libya. Government troops are sent there. Many deaths are reported.
Cyrenaika wants self-government
Local leaders in the region proclaim self-government and demand their own parliament and their own police force. The National Transitional Council rejects the initiative, which is considered to threaten Libya’s unity. Violent demonstrations both for and against federalism in Libya are held in both Benghazi and Tripoli.
Election day is published
The plans are scheduled to be held in June. The 200 seats will be divided between party lists (80 seats) and individual candidates (120 seats). There is a ban on candidates who have been associated with the former Gaddafi regime. Members of the National Transitional Council are also not allowed to run for office.
Trials against Gaddafian supporters
The first trials begin when 41 men face trial in Benghazi military court. However, the trial is updated almost immediately to a later date.