2011 will always be remembered as the year the world was treated to an uprising in the Arab nations of North Africa. Tunisia perhaps is the most stable nation today among those that the Arab spring swept through. In Egypt, the country has seen the ousting of two presidents since the uprising swept through the country. First long-serving president Hosni Mubarak was ousted from his three-decades-long hold to power and Mohammed Morsi was ousted from power despite being a democratically elected president of Egypt. However, Cairo has been relatively peaceful after the ousting of President Morsi.
Another North African country to have experienced the Arab spring of 2011 is Libya which was under the reign of Muammar Gaddafi. Muammar Gaddafi became the de facto leader of Libya on 1 September 1969 after leading a group of young Libyan military officers against King Idris I in a bloodless coup d’état. After the king had fled the country, the Libyan Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) headed by Gaddafi abolished the monarchy and the old constitution and established the Libyan Arab Republic, with the motto “freedom, socialism and unity”
After coming to power, the RCC government under the guidance of general Muammar Gaddafi initiated a process of directing funds toward providing education, health care, and housing for all. Public education in the country became free and primary education compulsory for both sexes. Medical care became available to the public at no cost, but providing housing for all was a task the RCC government was not able to complete.
Under Gaddafi, per capita income in the country rose to more than US$11,000 the fifth highest in Africa. Libya became one of the major economies on the African continent. The increase in prosperity was accompanied by a controversial foreign policy, and there was increased domestic political repression. Gaddafi managed to silence his political opponents in a bid to maintain his stranglehold on to power in the oil-rich North Africa nation. Gaddafi lost his grip on power in 2011 which resulted in internal strife. Gaddafi utterly refused to throw in the towel but maintained he would rather die in battle than surrender.
Libya has never been the same after the overthrow and killing of Muammar Gaddafi in the civil war that was fought in Libya back in 2011. Muammar Gaddafi was killed in the town of Sirte in 2011. The country has been subject to the ongoing proliferation of weapons, Islamic insurgencies, sectarian violence, and lawlessness, with spillovers affecting neighboring countries including Mali.
The National Transitional Council (NTC) took over power after the ousting and killing of long time leader Muammar Gaddafi and declared that the country had been liberated in October 2011, it began a democratic process of forming a new government, prepared for elections and set out to prosecute former Gaddafi officials.
The civil war left the country’s military very stretched and this resulted in the absence of an organized military to combat any insurgence that may arise. The lack of a properly organized military gave armed militias of former rebels to continue to assert their role as “guardians of the revolution” around the country, and there were reports of vigilante justice and sporadic clashes between rival militias. International organizations voiced concerns over the proliferation of weapons in the region and the risk that they might fall into the hands of militant Islamists.
When elections were held in July 2012 the General National Congress took overpower a month later, charged with organizing a constituent assembly for authoring Libya’s new constitution. The NTC was formally dissolved, and in November 2012 Ali Zeidan was sworn in as Prime Minister. In March 2014, Zeidan was ousted by the GNC, amid escalating conflict in the country.
On 4 August 2014, the GNC was replaced by a newly elected House of Representatives better known as the CoD but on 25 August 2014, some members of the former GNC reconvened unilaterally and said they had elected Omar al-Hasi as Prime Minister, effectively leaving the country with two rival governments: the one proclaimed by the CoD in Tobruk and the one proclaimed by the claimant GNC in Tripoli. The political instability in Libya was so rife that some footballers once exchanged the football pitch for the battlefield. During the 2012 Afcon in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon some footballers who in the team were a soldier during the 2011 civil war.
After ousting Gaddafi, the country has been plagued with internal strife from different insurgence and militia groups chief among them is the Islamist State popularly known as ISIS. The country has literally failed to install a democratically elected government to oversee the affairs of the oil-rich nation. The longstanding stability that had become accustomed to the nation of Libya albeit under the autocratic rule is a distant memory.
The country has been plagued severe political instability with rival factions claiming legitimate authority over Tripoli. The country never had planned of how they will going to continue the development of Libya posts the Gaddafi era. They were bent of ousting Gaddafi out of power without a definite plan for Libya. That has left the nation in limbo as political instability has become the order of the day in a once might nation.
This predicament has left the country somehow paralyzed as to which group is legitimately in control of the once-great nation of Libya which was free from debt. Insurgence is threatening the continued existence of the once Mighty Libya.