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2011 Libya Civil War Fast Facts

Here’s some background information about the civil war that took place in Libya in 2011.


February 16, 2011 – Police crack down on protesters as anti-government demonstrations take place in Benghazi. Within days, the protests spread to Tripoli and more than 200 people are killed amid the upheaval.

February 21, 2011 – United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon holds talks with President Moammar Gadhafi and demands that the conflict end immediately.

February 22, 2011 – Gadhafi makes a defiant speech, vowing to die a martyr rather than step down.

February 24, 2011 – Gadhafi blames the unrest in Libya on al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. He also states that protestors are being fed drugs and manipulated.

February 25, 2011 – US President Barack Obama signs an executive order freezing Gadhafi’s assets.

February 26, 2011 – The UN Security Council imposes sanctions against Libya, including an arms embargo and asset freezes. It also refers Gadhafi to the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

The opposition movement announces that it has picked former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil to lead a caretaker administration.

February 28, 2011 – The European Union bans the sale of arms and ammunition to Libya and freezes the assets of Gadhafi and five members of his family.

March 5, 2011 – The UN announces that it is studying a request to appoint Ali Abdussalam Treki as the nation’s ambassador.

March 7, 2011 – NATO begins 24-hour air surveillance of Libya.

March 13, 2011 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets in Paris with Mahmoud Jibril, the leader of the opposition group, Transitional National Council.

March 17, 2011 – The UN Security Council votes to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and take “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

March 18, 2011 – The Libyan government announces a cease-fire but sources inside Libya say violence continues.

March 19, 2011 – French, British and American military forces begin the first phase of Operation Odyssey Dawn, aimed at enforcing the no-fly zone. More than 110 Tomahawk missiles fired from American and British ships and submarines hit about 20 Libyan air and missile defense targets.

March 20, 2011 – Gadhafi, speaking on Libyan state TV, says the UN charter provides for Libya’s right to defend itself in a “war zone.” Weapons depots will be opened he says.

March 24, 2011 – NATO agrees to take command of the mission, enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

March 28, 2011 – President Obama addresses the American public on the situation in Libya. “Tonight, I can report that we have stopped Gadhafi’s deadly advance,” Obama says. He declares that the United States will “support the aspirations of the Libyan people” as the “military effort ratchets down.”

March 29, 2011 – Representatives from more than 40 countries and organizations meet in London to establish a “Libya Contact Group.” The group will coordinate the international response to the crisis.

March 30, 2011 – Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa arrives in Great Britain and announces that he has resigned his post.

March 31, 2011 – NATO announces that it has taken sole command of air operations to “protect civilians and civilian-populated areas from attack or the threat of attack.” The campaign is called Operation Unified Protector.

April 4, 2011 – Foreign Minister Franco Frattini announces that Italy will become the third country, after France and Qatar, to recognize the rebel Libyan National Transitional Council as the legitimate international representative of Libya.

April 6, 2011 – A senior Obama administration officials announces that Gadhafi has sent the president a letter urging him to end the NATO bombing campaign.

April 30, 2011 – Gadhafi speaks on state TV and says he is ready to negotiate a ceasefire but that he will not step down.

Gadhafi’s youngest son, Saif al-Arab, and several grandchildren are killed in a NATO airstrike in Tripoli.

May 11, 2011 – Gadhafi appears on state TV, his first public appearance since the death of his son.

May 13, 2011 – Gadhafi releases a brief audio message saying he’s in a place where he cannot be found or killed.

May 18, 2011 – Four journalists are released by the Libyan military after spending several weeks in custody.

June 1, 2011 – Libya’s oil minister says he’s defected from Gadhafi’s government and has joined the opposition movement.

NATO extends its mission in Libya for another 90 days.

June 8-15, 2011 – Several countries, including the United States, Spain, Germany and Canada, recognize the opposition-led National Transitional Council as Libya’s legitimate representative.

June 14, 2011 – South African President Jacob Zuma says that NATO is misusing the UN resolutions meant to protect civilians, in order to pursue regime change and assassinate Gadhafi.

June 27, 2011 – The ICC issues arrest warrants for Gadhafi, his son and his brother-in-law for crimes against humanity.

July 28, 2011 – The National Transitional Council’s top military commander, Gen. Abdul Fattah Younis is killed during an ambush.

August 9, 2011 – A spokesman for the National Transitional Council says chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil has dissolved the group’s 14-member executive board.

August 11, 2011 – The Libyan Embassy in Washington reopens under the control of the National Transitional Council.

August 19, 2011 – US officials say Gadhafi may be preparing for a “last stand” in Tripoli as a month-long NATO air campaign continues amid reports of rebel advances.

August 21, 2011 – Rebels advance on Tripoli and capture two of Gadhafi’s sons. A government spokesman says some 1,300 people have been killed and about 5,000 have been wounded in 12 hours of fighting.

August 23, 2011 – A spokesman for the National Transitional Council claims that rebels now control 90% of the country; Gadhafi’s whereabouts are reportedly unknown.

August 25, 2011 – An agreement is reached in the UN Security Council to release $1.5 billion in frozen Libyan assets to the country’s rebel government.

September 1, 2011 – Britain and France begin releasing funds to the National Transitional Council that were frozen at the beginning of the crisis.

Russia recognizes the National Transitional Council as Libya’s official government.

60 countries meet in Paris to discuss Libya’s transition from Gadhafi’s rule to democracy.

September 12, 2011 – Jalil addresses supporters in Martyrs’ Square in Tripoli and says, “We aim to establish a state of law, a state of welfare, a state where Islamic Sharia law is the main source of legislation.”

September 16, 2011 – The UN General Assembly announces that the National Transitional Council will represent Libya during the annual General Assembly later in September. The UN Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution to establish a support mission for Libya for the next three months.

September 20, 2011 – At the UN General Assembly, Interim Prime Minister Jibril says that he expects Libya to have a new government within 10 days. Ban Ki-moon congratulates the transitional leadership and directs that the country’s new flag be presented alongside the UN flag.

September 24, 2011 – Jibril addresses the UN General Assembly.

September 29, 2011 – US Senator John McCain and other members of Congress tour Libya. They meet with members of Libya’s interim governing council, military commanders and Libyan citizens. They also visit a prison to see the conditions.

October 20, 2011 – Gadhafi is killed after being captured by rebel forces.

October 23, 2011 – Libya’s interim leaders declare the nation’s freedom in Benghazi.

October 27, 2011 – The UN Security Council votes unanimously to end military operations in Libya.

October 31, 2011 – The National Transitional Council elects Abdurrahim El-Keib as acting prime minister, with the support of 26 of the 51 members who voted. NATO announces the official end of its mission in Libya.

Article Topic Follows: National-World

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