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Introduction: The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI began to espouse his own political system, the Third Universal Theory. The system was a combination of socialism and Islam derived in part from tribal practices and was supposed to be implemented by the Libyan people themselves in a unique form of "direct democracy." QADHAFI used oil funds during the 1970s and 1980s to promote his ideology outside...

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History: For most of their history, the peoples of Libya have been subjected to varying degrees of foreign control. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, and Byzantines ruled all or parts of Libya. Although the Greeks and Romans left impressive ruins at Cyrene, Leptis Magna, and Sabratha, little else remains today to testify to the presence of these ancient cultures.

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International Relations: Libyan Relations with the International Community

Libya became a member of the United Nations in 1951. It held a non-permanent seat on the Security Council in 2008-2009.

On 28 February 2011, the United Nations Security Council passed, with unanimous support, resolution 1970 (2011), which demanded an immediate end to the violence and killing of protestors by the Qadhafi regime. The resolution also referred the situation in Libya to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; and imposed a travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo on the Libyan regime. The United Nations General Assembly ...

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Archaeological evidence indicates that from at least the eighth millennium B.C. Libya's coastal plain shared in a Neolithic culture, skilled in the domestication of cattle and cultivation of crops, that was common to the whole Mediterranean littoral. To the south, in what is now the Sahara Desert, nomadic hunters and herders roamed a vast, well-watered savanna that abounded in game and provided ...

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Area Handbook Series
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