Libya Conflict Insight
February 2018 | Vol. 1
Libya achieved independence from United Nations (UN) trusteeship in 1951 as an amalgamation of three former Ottoman provinces, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan under the rule of King Mohammed Idris. In 1969, King Idris was deposed in a coup staged by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He promptly abolished the monarchy, revoked the constitution, and established the Libya Arab Republic. By 1977, the Republic was transformed into the leftist-leaning Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. In the 1970s and 1980s, Libya pursued a “deviant foreign policy”, epitomized by its radical belligerence towards the West and its endorsement of anti-imperialism. In the late 1990s, Libya began to re-normalize its relations with the West, a development that gradually led to its rehabilitation from the status of a pariah, or a “rogue state.” As part of its rapprochement with the West, Libya abandoned its nuclear weapons programme in 2003, resulting in the lifting of UN sanctions.