Libya

Libya, a former Italian colony, gained independence in 1952 from UN trusteeship. After the discovery of major petroleum deposits in the end of the 1950s, it became one of the richest countries in Africa. Libya was ruled by a monarchy after independence; However, Colonel al-Qaddafi overthrew the monarchy in 1969 and establishing an authoritarian government and preserving his hold on power into the 21st century. The country has experience conflict with Chad (over the uranium-rich Aouzou Strip, which was resolved in a 1994 peace agreement) and has been involved in conflicts in Uganda and Central Africa. In 2011, during the Arab Spring, oppositional groups joined efforts and fought to oust, and eventually kill, al-Qaddafi. 

Since then, the government have failed to effectively disband or incorporate militias. Recently, numerous militias, especially Islamist, have proliferated and consolidated their power in the country. In 2014 the IS seized the city of Derna and during the year militia fighting reached the level of a war. A steep escalation in violence occurred in July, 2014, with the attack on and conquering of the capital Tripoli by Islamist militias. Officials in Tobruk and Tripoli claimed national power, each with a network of militias on its side. In early 2015, the crisis gravely escalated in the country's west, as Islamists, democratically elected leaders, militias, and regional powers continued to vie for control.

Peace attempts

Despite the ending of al-Qaddafi’s despotic rule in 2011, Libya remains war-torn. Towards the end of 2014, the UN tried to initiate a dialog to end the conflict between several militia groups, however, no agreement was reached.

In March, 2015, the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) unveiled a six-point plan to end the crisis, including the formation of a transitional unity government until a new constitution is adopted and elections held.

A meeting of Libyan political leaders and activists, facilitated by UNSMIL, took place in early April, 2015, with hopes of devising a plan to end Libya's crisis. A second meeting later in the month concluded with the parties reiterating the commitment to political dialogue, reaffirming their call to all parties to immediately halt armed hostilities and stressing the need to take all necessary steps to combat terrorist threats in Libya. The rival factions are scheduled to meet in May to consolidate a final agreement.

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