Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 11



In order to understand how the revolution in Libya occurred, it is important to
understand from his physical and human terrain. Libya is located in the Sahara Desert making
most of its part are uninhabitable, thus more than 90 percent of its population lived along the
Mediterranean coast instead, and other scattered around the multiple oases in the countrys
interior. It is divided into three main regions, which are Cyrenaica in the east, Tripolitania in
the northwest, and Fezzan in the southwest. At that time, the borders between were not yet
defined, hence there were autonomous their regions from one another, developing separate
political and economic system. There was the historical rivalry between Cyrenaica and
Tripolitania, controlled by their capital cities, Benghazi and Tripoli respectively. Since its
independence in 1951, these two regions were fought and struggle to become the dominance
and leader position of the country. Fezzan, however, chose to remain its own political system
due to the low number of population and its remoteness. Cyrenaica served as a Sansui
monarch who ruled the country before it became the regime under the Qaddafi. They
discovered the oil and turned Libya into the world major oil producer within the decade. In
September 1969, Qaddafi, a 27-year-old captain in Libyan Air Force and his force successfully
took over the military coup against King Idris. After he became the leader of the country, he
shifted economic and political power away from the base in Cyrenaica and west site to
Tripolitania. He also built his support among tribes and high class of Tripolitania and Fezzan
that had been ignored during Idris regime. In Qaddafis reign, he relied on a personalized
network of advisors to ensure the loyalty of those around him. He built smaller military forces
that separate as it is easier to command and manage. He also made sure that commands are
overlapping each other to prevent the integration into one big force that might make him lose
control of the dominance. The rise of Qaddafi significantly reduced the power of Cyrenaica
tribe that once had exclusive right under the Sansui. To prevent the outbreak of Cyrenaica, he
cleared out establishments that are associated with Sansui and moved against the religious
leader of them. He tries to implement his political and philosophy norm to people in that
certain area instead. However, this fall and suppression against the Sansui led and acted as a
catalyst of rivalry towards Qaddafis Tripolitania-based regime. Many Islamist military groups
rose against him after the 1970s.
However, there was something that was good under his rule. First, a home is a basic
needed for people, therefore it is important for everyone to have one for their own and their
families. Each married couple would receive 50000 dollars to help them buy their new home
for the new family. Women also received bursary around 5000 dollars when she gave birth to
the newborn baby. Also, the education and the start-up of a farming business are free for
them. By having the free education, the literacy rate rose from 25 percent to 83 percent with
25 percent getting the university degree. Moreover, the electricity was free for them, and the
petroleum and oil were relatively cheap for them.
Nevertheless, many Libyans thought that Libyans got worse under Gaddafis rule. Even
though the literacy rate was high, but the education system was bad. Also, the Libyans care
system, even though it is free, it is really terrible and many citizens have the norm to travel to
the neighbor countries to receive medical treatment. Moreover, the freedom is really terrible
in his ear. Talking about the freedom, it probably almost impossible to identify. Many students
in university were hung in the university squares and football field, and those would be
broadcasted on TV when they verbally opposed him. He placed what was called cultural
revolution. In this revolution, he banned all private business companies and defective books
for him were burnt. He largely murdered people who opposed him, taking away the freedom
of speech and putting in all acts of violent repression instead. This made people feel so
oppressed because they literally had no freedom under his rule and were still not be able to
express their opinions and thought. Also, there was largely economic inequality in the
country. Even though Libya earned a lot of money from the oil revenue around 32 billion
dollars, most people did still live in the relatively poor condition like other citizens in poorer
countries. The rate of the unemployment rate was also quite high, which were around thirty
percent or more, and also the wages are also extremely low. All the wealth and profit from
foreign investments only benefited narrow gap of the elite. The last but not least is the
influence from the Arab Spring that inspired people to rise up against the brutal rule. All of
these led to the unsatisfactory of the condition that they live and the outbreak in 2011.


In the rising fever of the revolution, it is the stage where people started to rise up as
they could not tolerate the condition anymore. This sometimes leads to the climax. The old
government structure collapsed and a new government was formed. In early 2011, Arab
spring, a wave of popular protest in countries through North Africa, was spread. Most of them
tended to be peaceful demonstrations. However, Libya was on totally different pages. After
four-decade rule, Muammar al-Qaddafi led to bloody civil war and internal military
intervention. On February 15, 2011, antigovernment assembly was held in Benghazi due to
the arrest of lawyers calling for human right whose name is Fethi Tarbel. The protestors
wanted Qaddafi to step down and released this and other political prisoners. However,
Qaddafi responded with the security forces who used water cannons and rubber bullets
against the demonstrators. Also, the rally that supported the government coordinated by
authorities was broadcasted on television. This made the protests against the governmen t
even intensified and the demonstrators started to take control of Benghazi and the protests
started to spread to Tripoli. With the spread of the unrest, the government began to use the
lethal force like the gun against the demonstrators. This is known as the Day of Rage, where
Libyan security force began to fire live ammunition against the protestors. Protestors were
also attacked by the tanks and the helicopter gunships. Also, the communication within the
country was blocked, in which phone serviced and internet was blacked throughout the
country. Throughout this next three days, security forces killed over 150 people. Protesters
also attacked back by attacking military barracks, namely Katiba. This considered as a turning
point of the revolution. Later, the Sayf al-Islam, the son of Qaddafi, came out in the television
and stated that the further demonstration could lead to the civil war and said that the regime
would fight back to the last bullet.
With this statement that posed the violence against the protestors and civilians, the
international community and human right organization began to condemn the government. It
also damaged the unity within the country. The high-level officers including the Libyan
delegate in the United Nation began to resign from the government to support the protest.
Also, a range of Libyan embassies around the world began to use Libya flag that was used
before the rule of Qaddafi, implying the support to the protestor. Also, some of the militaries
who were used to loyal to Qaddafi began to change their side and choose not to obey that
orders like in the case that two Libyan fighter pilot chose to fly to Malta instead of Benghazi.
On February 22, Qaddafi appeared on the state television and delivered the speech in
condemning the protestors and called for his supporters to fight for them. He also denied that
he used the force against the protestors, and chose the location to film at Bb al-
Azziyyah compound to show the damage that occurred after the air strike by the United
States. He resisted to step down from power and pledged to remain in Libya. The violent
confrontation between two sides continued, and Qaddafi gradually lost power as the military
and security forces turned to side more and more with the protestors who opposed the
regime. Although Qaddafi successfully held the power in the capital city, he lost control almost
all of Cyrenaica and the protest began to spread to the major coastal cities in Tripolitania like
Misrata. Moreover, the protestors began to obtain the weapons from the government
warehouse and joined the defected military forces. This turned the rebellion into the armed
forms, which make the protestors successfully drive most of the pro-Qaddafi troops from the
eastern section including the Benghazi. They also brought the foreign journalist into the
country which was the first time since the outbreak.
Nevertheless, the military force who supported Qaddafi still held the power in the city
of Tripoli where Qaddafi and his family members remained. Qaddafi at that time was quite
desperate and came out to say that the young people who were the main of the protestors
were under the influence of drug and under the control of al-Qaeda. His armed supported also
further attacked unarmed protestors who came out from mosques after Friday prayers. This
makes international pressure for Qaddafi increased as violence was still ongoing. The
foreigners who lived in the country were moved out of the country. United Nation Security
approved a measure which imposed the sanction against the country including the travel ban
and armed prohibition. It also further refers to the International Criminal Court. This makes
many countries including the USA and the Europe Union imposed sanctions, freezing
Qaddafis assets.
With the continuation of the rebel forces, and international condemn, Qaddafi brought
in the journalist to the cities to show the situation of the capital city that was still under his
control. He blamed the drug that caused the hallucinations to the young people in the rebel
force and al-Qaeda. He also further stated that the Western leaders called him to step down
because they wanted to take control of the Libyan, but he would not do it because he was still
loved by his own people. On the side of the rebellion, the council called Transitional National
Council or TNC was formed. This came from the merger of the rebel groups which aimed to
provide the service for military and guided the country toward the democracy.
However, fighting continued, Qaddafi seemed to retrieve. They were able to drive
rebel out in the important cities like the west of Tripoli and the oil-export center, which made
them gain the advantage. As the situation seemed to be in favor on the side of Qaddafi,
international communities continued to work together to find the possible response to the
situation. Many countries started to work and contact with TNC. Some liked EU called for him
to step down However, they still debated over the military intervention and the is zone. On
March 17, 2011, the military force that supported for the Qaddafi advanced to the cities that
were held by the rebel. This made the UNSC approved the resolution with 10-0, with the
abstention from Russia, China, Germany, India, and Brazil to impose the military intervention
as well as the no-fly zone for the sake of the safety of the civilians. The USA and European
forces launched air attacks to stop the Libyan air forces that were sided with Qaddafi and
made the no-fly zone be able to impose. Eastern warplane of the protestors also attacked the
armed supporter of Qaddafi outside the Benghazi and also challenged the force that located in
the city that holds oil centers. This made Qaddafi use the attack and challenge as an excuse to
continue fighting with international force as well as the protestors. Although the international
force successfully to disable the air force, the fight on the ground still continued endlessly.
This made the international community come together for the negotiation, in which at the end
NATO officially fully commanded of military intervention.
On April 10, 2011, African Union delegation traveled to Tripoli to present a plan for a
cease-fire. Qaddafi reported accepting the plan. However, the protest leaders rejected the plan
as the plan did not include the part where Qaddafi would step down from the power and
moved out of Libya. Later, the United Kingdom, as well as France and Italy announced that
they would send their officers to Libya to advise the protestors on the aspect of the military
organization, communication, but they would not help them to fight. However, this
announcement came out and created a misunderstanding that protestors were lack of military
capability to win by themselves. The Libyan foreign minister came out and condemned the
decision as he said that it would only extend the conflict.
At the end of March, NATO attacked by the air strikes on Qaddafis house, making his
son and three grandchildren die. However, Qaddafi was able to escape from the house
uninjured. NATO claimed to do that due to its adoption of the strategy in trying to kill Qaddafi.
Pro-Qaddafi, at the same time, fired the ships that would deliver humanitarian aids as well as
evacuated the civilians from the port. This made the NATO and Arab countries agreed to
impose financial aid TNC to help them. ICC also announced that it would arrest Qaddafi and
his son as well as the chief on the mean of ordering the attack on the civilian, which they later
issued the actual arrest warrant on them. UN commission also investigated human right
abuses and found that the forces that were loyal to Qaddafi were severe enough to claim from
the crime against humanity. They also found that protestor forces had some evidence of war
crime even though it was less severe and less widespread.
After months of deadlocks, the power now turned into the favor of protestors. They
soon advanced into the Tripoli and some sites of the oil refiners. They began to rise pre-
Qaddafi flag and destroyed the symbol of Qaddafi. Later, they solidified their control in Tripoli
and TNC began to transfer its operating bases to the capital. Qaddafi remained hiding with
sometimes sending out the audio messages. Rebel forces started to negotiate peacefully with
the remaining cities under loyalist of Qaddafi control, however, it failed. Rebel troops hence
used the force to push out instead.
On September 20, TNC was gained the international recognition after the UNGA voted
to recognized TNC as a representative for Libya delegation. A month later, Qaddafi was found.
He was filmed capturing alive and being shot to death afterward in his hometown, Surt, in the
time that rebellions fight to solidify their control. However, even after the death of Qaddafi,
the TNC still faced the challenge to govern the country. It was very unstable and must find a
way to control and unify the country. Many independent groups were funded by wealthy
individuals and some foreign countries to rise for the autonomy. Also, the reliance of Libya on
the oil industry made it harder to run the economic system efficiently. Moreover, it also faced
internal security issue. There are remaining of Qaddafi loyalist and the independent militias
that call for their own autonomy, making the fight and the battle still existed in the country.


After most of the revolution was successful, the moderate usually controlled for a
while. However, they failed to effectively govern leading to the uprising of the extreme that
pushed the government out. This is similar in some part of Libyan. TNC was the ultimate
government that was controlled the country absolutely for a while. However, the pace in
changing was quite slow, which make some people not happy with the new government,
leading to the clash and rise of militias in some parts. Later, the council was formed, but it was
not run for the long term. After the mandate expired, people began to protest of its extent and
a new government was later formed. However, the old government did not recognize and
form its own government. Nevertheless, international communities recognized the new one.
They bought fought for power for a while before agreed to cease fire recently after the talk.
Other than government, Libya also faced with the terrorist situation like ISIS and Jihadist as
well as the ongoing trials of Gaddafi son and officer in Gaddafis regime. To understand fully,
the important situations of aftermath will be explained and discussed in the following
After the death of the Qaddafi, Mustafa Abdul declares national independence in the
speech in Benghazi and planned for the election within eight months. Many people in Misrtah
came to see the corpse of Qaddafi. Later, Qaddafis last son was captured and became the last
member of Gaddafi family who was killed. Later, at the end of 2011, UNSSC and USA decided
to lift the sanction that was imposed against Libya during the uprising. TNC also announced a
plan to merge all the regional rebellion into the national armed forces. However, the militias
had refused to disarm and remain because they believed that TNC was closely linked with
Qaddafi. After the gun battle occurred in downtown Tripoli, Jalil said that if they did not
disarm, they would be risked for the civil war.
In January 2012, the clash erupted between militias groups due to unsatisfactory with
the slow pace and nature of change under the TNC. The deputy head, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga,
hence chose to resign. Not long after the resign, the TNC approved a new election that would
be in June 2012. This saw as an important hope for change. However, things did not turn out
well. TNC in the oil-rich center at Benghazi launched the campaign for regaining the autonomy
the region, creating the tension with TNC in Tripoli. At the same time, UN also reported the
rebel militias violated human right in killing and torturing people whom they presumed as a
supporter for Qaddafi.
The government continued to struggle to control militias, especially in Zintan in the
West. Pro-autonomy mob rose and ransacked the election commission in Benghazi. However,
the election still occurred. Around July, Libyan voted for a new assembly that would choose
members in the assembly around 200 people, which would choose the new prime minister
and draft the constitution. The results showed that National Forces Alliance, which was the
secular party that led by Mahmoud Jibril who was TNC official, won the highest number of the
seats in the assembly. Later, the power was fully handed to the assembly from transitional
government. The assembly chose Mohammed Magarief from Liberal National Front Party as
its chairman, which made him literally became the head of the state.
On September 2012, Islamist belligerent including Ansar al-Sharia launched a surprise
attack on USA consulate in Benghazi. This resulted in the death of US ambassador whose
name is Christopher as well as three other Americans. This made the head of the assembly
pledged to disband illegal militias.
Later, the assembly elected the new prime minister, Ali Zeidan. The former prime
minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi went on trial in Tripoli on the charges of unjust killing as
well as giving public money to Tunisia to support for forces that supported Gaddafi. Later,
Chairmen of Assembly resigned with accordance of establishing the new law that band
Gaddafi-era officers from holding the spots in government and public office. The Assembly
elected new chairman, which was Nuri Abu Sahmein who was independent Military Police. He
is the member of Berber which was the minority that suffered a lot of discrimination under
Gaddafis regime.
Around February 2014, protest erupted in response to the refusal of the disband of
Assembly after mandate expired. It extended its parliamentary term to enable the new
drafting of the new constitution. Violence spiked high with the assassination and bombing
occurring almost daily. No group rose up to be responsible for this, but resident and officers
blamed in largest Islamist extremist groups. Later, Prime minister Ali Zeidan was kicked out
of the office after the oil-laden tanker broke through Libyan Navy blockage. Defense minister
named Abdallah-Thinni was selected to hold the position till the replacement was picked.
However, not long after that, he resigned after he and his family were attacked. Assembly then
elected Ahmed Maiteeq to be the prime minister instead, but many officers in the assembly
rejected this decision and called for al-Thinni to come back resulting in the fail of the new


On May 16, 2014, General Khalifa Hafter launched an attack in the attempt to strip
Islamist militias out including Ansar al-Sharia. This resulted in the death of 75 people and
injury of 141 people during the battle in and around Benghazi, Operation Dignity later called
for the suspension. Later, a new parliamentary was made. Its name is Council of Deputies. Its
parliament was set in Tobruk. However, later on, some former member of the old council
reconvened on their own and claimed that they elected Omar al-Hasis as prime minister,
effectively leaving the country with two opposed governments. They both ignored the ruling
of each other. Also, prime minister al-Thinni was almost assassinated when he visited the city
of Tobruk to attend Parliament. Operation Dignity later took control over the Central Bank in
The situation of Libyan seemed to turn even worse when ISIS released propaganda
video that was filmed on Libyan beach in which the content shows the beheading of 21
Egyptian Christians. Egypt responded to these with airstrikes against the ISIS. A few days
later, three suicide bomb which later claimed responsibilities by ISIS occurred killing more
than 30 people.
On July 28, 2015, Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi was sentenced to death after
trails along with other eight officers who tried to suppress the uprising. UNHCR viewed this
trials as the unfair trial that failed to reach international standard.
Later, two rivalry government signed for the UN-brokered peace agreement which
called for unity of both. It said that after a period of political divisions and conflict. Libya must
do something to restart the political transition to build a peaceful, safe, and prosperous Libya.
UN announced new government which would be based in Tunisia. However, both of the sides
refused to recognize it. When the Unity government came, it was encounter by the airspace
force blockage. This made UN staff returned to the Tripoli after two years. The two sides of
government continued to oppose each other until recently that two leading parties attended
the talk in Paris and committed to a ceasefire and fresh new election. They vowed to stop
using any armed weapons except to counter the terrorist.
While the government aspect seemed to be better, the chaos was still ongoing in Libya.
Egyptian forces carried air strikes after Jihadist claimed the responsibilities for attacking and
killing Christian in the bus. Moreover, a military group in Zintan freed Moammar Gadhafi's
son, Saif al-Islam Gadhafi who was sentenced to the death.

Normally, the revolution is divided into four phases. The first one is symptoms when
the original government failed to govern efficiently and money shortage occurred in the
country. Also, there can be some events that cause extreme anger and lead to the revolution.
The next phrase is rising fever. This is when people usually in the middle-class rise and the
original government is collapsed. The new government is established, however, it can still
meet the demand of people. The third phase is when the radicals or some people with political
left violently remove the new government of the moderate that is previously established.
Those people completely destroy people who opposed them. At this point, people support the
revolution because they live in the constant poor condition. The last stage called
Convalescence is when the revolution was turning down. Everything starts to set back.
Another new government is created as the strong leader comes to power, making the country
begins to stable against. People also tried to change their way of lives and dress to forget
about the revolution.
For the revolution in Libya, it followed in the first stage of the revolution. The
government like Qaddafi dictated the country making a lot of people have to suffer from his
rule. They have suffered from the oppression that did not allow them to express any of their
freedom. If they opposed him, they might get killed and hang beside the street. They were
being censored by the government largely in which they burnt down the books. They also
suffered from the economic inequality in which they received relatively low wages despite the
high national income from the oil. Moreover, the education system and healthcare were so
bad that they had to consider to travel to neighbor countries for the treatment. Another thing
that leads to the uprising was the influence of Arab spring.
For the stage two, it followed at some point, in which people rise to protest the
government, and the moderate from the council or TNC, which they said that they were
representative of the country as a whole and would drive the country toward the democracy.
However, it could not be fully applied as the revolution in Libya was very bloody. Both of them
fought each other with armed force. The government used fatal weapons against the rebellion,
making a lot of civilians and migrant, as well as foreigners, died. With the extreme violence of
government, the international communities decided to involved in which was first in the form
of sanction and later in the form of Military intervention which was commanded by NATO. At
the end, the rebellion successfully took over the government in which they killed Qaddafi and
many of his family members with the help of military aids. The new government was
established, but struggle to keep the power. This is not followed the model as the fight also
involved the international communities in to make the old government system collapse. It is
one of the few revolutions that international communities and organization took part in
through sanction and military intervention as well as the humanitarian aids that would help
the civilians and rebellions.
For the third stage, it followed the model only in the aspect of the radicals took control
and over the government. General Khalifa Hafter launched the attack and established the new
parliament that was internationally recognized. However, the old parliamentary did not
recognize the new one and established their own government system. They both competed to
become the governor of the country. The security also was threatened by the external force
like ISIS that beheaded Egyptians Christian leading to the air strikes and the suicide bombs
that caused the death for the civilian. There had been a period where they both agreed to
unify and form the new government. However, when that government was actually
established, both of them did not recognize it as a government and continued fighting. This
did not follow the model as there were both parties fought in power and the radicals failed to
successfully throw the previous formed government out. Also, both of them refused to
recognize the new government that is formed from the unification of both, making the
situation even worse.
For the fourth stage, everything started to turn out better. Two government decided to
the ceasefire and stopped using any armed weapons except in the purpose of counter-
terrorism. However, there was still chaos ongoing in their country like the terrorist like ISIS
and al-Qaeda as well as some loyalist of Qaddafi who helped Qaddafi son escape after the
death sentence. This did not follow the model as the sign of the revolution still lingered in the
country and the sign of the protest still looked like it can erupt in anytime.
To sum everything up, Libyan revolution in 2011 did not quite follow the model like
other revolution. The revolution does not yet fully go into the final stage as the peace and
unified government is not yet fully established. The country is still not fully stabilized and the
sign of the old protestors still filled some parts of the country. Moreover, some sings of
violence still lingered in the country, hoping that someday the country will become peace and
stable again.
Anthony Bell, D. W. (2011, October 03). The Libyan Revolution Part 3- Stalemate &
Siege. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from
Arab Spring: A Research & Study Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2017, from
Balhaj, M. (2017, February 23). Why was Muammar Gaddafi hated? Retrieved October 18, 2017,
from https://www.quora.com/Why-was-Muammar-Gaddafi-hated
CNN Library. (2017, March 29). 2011 Libya Civil War Fast Facts. Retrieved October 19, 2017,
from http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/20/world/libya-civil-war-fast-facts/index.html
Cunningham, J. M. (2016, April 20). Libya Revolt of 2011. Retrieved October 18, 2017, from
James Masters, C. N. (2017, July 25). Libya rivals agree to a ceasefire and elections after Paris
talks. Retrieved October 19, 2017, from
Kafala, T. (2011, October 20). Gaddafi's quixotic and brutal rule. Retrieved October 18, 2011,
from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12532929
Meltzer, S. (n.d.). Ten Things You Didnt Know About Libya Under Gaddafis So-Called
Dictatorship. Retrieved October 18, 2017, from http://urbantimes.co/2014/05/libya-
Muammar al-Qaddafi. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2017, from
Stephen, C. (2014, August 29). War in Libya - the Guardian briefin . Retrieved October 18, 2017,
from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/29/-sp-briefing-war-in-libya
The Libyan Revolution Part 2-Escalation & Intervention . (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2017,
from http://www.understandingwar.org/report/libyan-revolution-part-2-escalation-
The Libyan Revolution Part 4-The Tide Turns. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2017, from
The Libyan Revolution Part I-Roots of Rebellion. (n.d.). Retrieved October 20, 2017,
from http://www.understandingwar.org/report/libyan-revolution-part-i-roots-rebellion