According to COUNTRYAAH, Libya has a population of 6.679 million (2018). Libya ceased February 15 to issue entry visas to citizens of EU Schengen countries, including Sweden. The visa halt was introduced after Switzerland had blacklisted 188 Libyans, among them the leader Muammar al-Khadaffi and his family, who would not be allowed to enter the country and thus not in any other Schengen country. The reason was that Swiss police in 2008 had arrested al-Khadaffi’s son Motassim Bilal, called Hannibal, suspected of abusing two of his own servants at a hotel in Switzerland. Libya had responded, among other things. by withdrawing billions of dollars from Swiss bank accounts and bringing two Swiss in Libya to trial. visa violations.
The organization, which calls itself al-Khadaffi’s international charity and development foundation, announced in March that 214 Islamist prisoners had been released. The release was part of a reconciliation process run by the organization, led by al-Khadaffi’s son Seyf al-Islam.
UNHCR UNHCR was expelled from Libya on June 8. The government announced that the UNHCR was not entitled to operate in Libya as the country had not signed the UN Refugee Convention of 1951. In December, the human rights organization Amnesty International criticized Libya and the EU for their cooperation in order to prevent refugees from accessing Europe. The EU had funded a reinforced Libyan coastguard that seized refugees on their way across the Mediterranean and placed them in camps where, according to Amnesty, was subjected to torture.
Libya agreed in January to buy weapons worth $ 1.8 billion from the Russian Federation.
In early 2014, Islamic State (IS) in Iraq/Syria sent about 300 Libyan IS partisans to the city of Derna in the eastern part of the country. The purpose was to create an IS bridgehead in North Africa. After being joined by several other Islamic militias, including Ansar al-Sharia in Benghazi, IS took control of Derna in October, which had 100,000 inhabitants. In parallel, IS conducted suicide bombings in Benghazi, Tobruk and Tripoli. In January 2015, the group took charge of the abduction of 21 Egyptian Copts in Sirte. That same month, the Libyan Air Force attacked a Greek-owned oil tanker off Derna who behaved “suspiciously”. Two Greek sailors were killed.
Despite the civil war in the country, hundreds of thousands of Egyptian guest workers remained in the country. In February 2015, IS executed 21 Coptic Christian Egyptians. Egypt responded a few hours back with aerial bombardments of IS positions in Libya, thereby contributing to a dramatic increase in the political conflict in North Africa.
In February, IS continued its advance westward, occupying the cities of Nofaliya and Sirte.
IS’s rapid progress in Libya began in 2015 to worry about Western countries, which in 2011 had provoked the country’s collapse as a state. The United States, Britain and France wanted to bomb Libya, but the desire was no greater than that they (unconventionally) wanted to do this in international law. It required a unifying government to invite the West to bomb, and in the fall, the West therefore pressed for the establishment of a unifying government. In December, the UN Security Council adopted its support for the establishment of such a unifying government. At the beginning of 2016, the country therefore had no less than 3 «governments»: one in Tobruk, one in Tripoli and one (supported by the UN and the West) in exile in Tripoli. The situation was no less complicated by the fact that the Gulf states were vigorously competing for influence in Libya and bribed top UN officials. Head of UNUAE him to become director of the country’s “Diplomatic Academy” for a salary of 400,000 kroner – a month. In contrast, León suggested that Libya’s former ambassador to the UAE become Libya’s new prime minister. The scandal became known in the fall of 2015 and in November, León was removed from the post. He moved on to the well-paid post in the UAE. The entire diplomatic political operation in Libya was subject to Western interests, Gulf States interests and corruption. It therefore failed.
In January 2016, IS began fighting to occupy the oil terminals in Sidra and Ra’s Lanuf. Libya’s oil production had already fallen to 10% of production before the West’s intervention in the country, and with control of the terminals, IS would have control of the country’s remaining oil exports.
Despite the lack of mandate, in 2016 the West began preparing bombing raids against Libya. Britain trained while the United States was already carrying out its first bombings in February 2016. They hit, among other things. an IS training camp, which also killed 2 captured Serbian diplomats.
In March 2016, US President Obama directly accused British Prime Minister David Cameron of bearing much of the responsibility for the chaos in Libya by ignoring political and military developments in the country after the collapse in 2011. The month after, Obama declared that Libya had been his biggest foreign policy coup. No other Western politician assumed a similar responsibility.
With the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 of 2011, an expert panel was set up for Libya. The panel released its final report in March 2016. The report stated that a number of countries, companies and individuals had all broken the arms embargo on Libya by shipping weapons, ammunition, aircraft and armored vehicles to war parties. These included the following countries: UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, Ukraine and Sudan.