n Conflict Trends - The 2011 Libyan crisis : would the African solution have been preferred?

Volume 2015, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1561-9818


Popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East, referred to as the 'Arab Spring' and which started in Tunisia, led to the collapse of the age-old authoritarian regimes of the Arab world. The Tunisian uprising had a domino effect as it spread to Egypt and later to Libya, which had been under a 41-year dictatorial rule. The revolt spread rapidly throughout Libya, and the insurgents made swift progress. Unlike the other fallen leaders, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi declared his determination to stay in power and waged war against the rebels, thus throwing the country into a civil war. A spike in human rights violations saw the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) pass Resolution 1970 on 26 February 2011, and 19 days later Resolution 1973 was passed, imposing a no-fly zone and an arms embargo on Libya. Under its Chapter VII powers, the Security Council demanded an immediate ceasefire; an end to violence and all attacks against civilians; and called for member states to "take all necessary measures" to prevent further civilian casualties and enforce compliance with the resolution. The implementation of this resolution was problematic, as it not only led to the murder of Gaddafi but also many Libyans, who lost their lives in the airstrikes carried out by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces and later threw Libya into a precarious situation, due to lack of follow-up.

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