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Libya in chaos since 2011 overthrow of Qadhafi

Country has been divided between tribal militas, parallel institutions operate against each other

By AFP - Feb 28,2019 - Last updated at Feb 28,2019

TRIPOLI — Libya has been mired in chaos since the ouster and killing of dictator Muammar Qadhafi in 2011, with two rival authorities and a multitude of militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.

The capital Tripoli is the seat of an internationally-backed government led by Fayez Al Sarraj, while a parallel administration operates out of the east supported by military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

Here is a timeline of the Mediterranean country's descent into turmoil:

 Qadhafi killed 

Triggered by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, demonstrations erupt in Libya in February 2011. A coalition led by Washington, Paris and London lends its backing to an armed revolt.

Qadhafi, who has ruled for 42 years, flees the capital. He is captured and killed on October 20, 2011 during a battle for his hometown Sirte, east of Tripoli.

Three days later, the rebel National Transitional Council declares Libya's "total liberation".

In August 2012, it hands power to a transitional authority, the General National Congress (GNC), elected a month earlier.


Embassies targeted 


US ambassador Chris Stevens and three American staff are killed in a September 11, 2012 attack on their consulate in Libya's second city Benghazi. 

An Al Qaeda-linked group is blamed.

A car bomb in April 2013 targets France's embassy in Tripoli, wounding two French guards.

Most foreign delegations withdraw from the country.


Rival governments 


Dissident army General Haftar launches an offensive in May 2014 against terrorist groups in Benghazi. He is backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. 

Several military officers from the east join his self-styled Libyan National Army.

As nationalists and Islamists vie for power, legislative elections are held in June and the GNC is replaced by a parliament dominated by anti-Islamists.

Islamist-led militias contest the results and group under the banner of "Fajr Libya" (Libya Dawn) and storm Tripoli in August, installing their own "national salvation" government and restoring the GNC.

The elected house, which has international recognition, takes refuge in the eastern city of Tobruk near the border with Egypt.

Thus the country finds itself with two governments and two parliaments.

After months of negotiations and under international pressure, lawmakers from the rival parliaments sign a December 2015 accord in Morocco to set up a UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).

In March 2016, GNA chief Sarraj arrives in Tripoli to set up the new government. Haftar's rival administration, however, refuses to recognise its authority.


Peace talks,

armed groups 


In July 2017, Sarraj and Haftar meet for talks near Paris where they agree to a ceasefire and commit to elections the following year.

They meet again in Paris in May 2018, weeks after Daesh group suicide attackers kill 14 people at Libya's electoral commission, and commit to holding parliamentary and presidential polls in December

In June 2018, a militia attacks two northeastern oil sites under Haftar's control through which oil is exported.

After days of fighting, Haftar's forces announce they are back in "full control" and have also seized the city of Derna from radical.

In November Haftar boycotts an international conference in Palermo, Italy.


 New election pledge 


On February 6, 2019 the Libyan national army announces it has seized one of the country's biggest oil fields.

Days later the African Union calls for a global conference in July with the aim of holding elections in October.

On February 28 the United Nations says Libya's rivals have met and agreed to hold polls.

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