Flag of Libya

Libya celebrates Independence anniversary, December 24, 2023

By Joy Osiagwu, Editorial Associate

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Situated in the Maghreb area of North Africa, Libya, with its capital in Tripoli, is a desert oil-rich nation on the African continent and a pivotal location for migrants traveling to Europe. Libya borders the Mediterranean Sea on the north, Egypt on the east, Sudan on the southeast, Chad to the south, Algeria to the west, and Tunisia to the northwest.

 The country has been a hotbed for international tension stemming from the continued rivalry of governments in the west and east justling to establish nationwide supremacy over the years. Libya was under foreign dominance for years until the United Nations in November 1949 voted for the freedom of Libya no later than January 1, 1952.

Libya gained independence from Italy under the United Nations Trusteeship (Britain administration) on December 24, 1951, shortly after discovering oil. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi became one of the prominent autocratic leaders of the country for four decades after seizing power in 1969. He was overthrown and murdered in 2011 following a rebellion uproar with the support of Western military forces. There were subsequent battles between the two administrations that lasted until both parties signed a ceasefire agreement in 2020, even as political antagonism continued. The tumultuous state of the country has held sway since the Arab Spring.

Muammar Gaddafi former Libyan president Photo credit: Wikipedia

A national unity government was created in Tripoli with Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh as prime minister in 2021. However, in 2022, the eastern-based parliament produced a rival government of National Stability. The development was hinged on interpreting the United Nations agreements in Libya and the political transition agenda with the hope of an election in 2021, which failed to hold as promised. 

With a population of 6.735 million, the common languages the people speak are Arabic (official), Italian, English, and Berber. The natural resources are petroleum, natural gas, and gypsum. One of the staple dishes in Libya is Couscous, prepared with semolina, vegetables, and meat.

Libyan couscous

. Governance Structure

Libya operates a Parliamentary system as a Constitutional republic with a provincial government. Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, the current Prime Minister, was selected to function as the unity government leader at the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in 2021.

Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh, unity government leader Photo credit Wikipedia

Trending News

Two months after the devastating floods in the eastern city of Derna, Libya, residents have continued to suffer from the psychological trauma of the aftermath. The remains of Dr Khaled Al-Shaari were found by his neighbors near his flood-raged home, suspected of having taken his life after the flood. Khaled was only one of twenty other residents who died by suicide, according to reports by Aljazeera.

38-year-old Al-Shaari’s case was heartbreaking as his death happened following the end of his entire family and the loss of his home. “He couldn’t bear the shock he faced and found no mental support even a month after the catastrophe,” Rifaei, his neighbor, told Al Jazeera. Other neighbors had seen Al-Shaari sitting by the door of his ruined home, waiting for news about relatives swept away by the floods until his death.

Many homes were destroyed by the flood, which claimed over 11,300 lives. The survivors are still reeling from the horror even as help is yet to come.

Hamdi Cheikh, who survived the deadly storm, spoke to journalists in Derna, Source: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

.Libya Ottawa Connection

The Canadian Libyan community group on Facebook is a closed group with a mission to unite Libyans who are Canadian and or living in Canada, in the hopes that the Canadian Libyan community will become stronger to help members build meaningful connections and relationships.