Libya (GPS: 25 00 N, 17 00 E) located in Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria. The country’s area measurements are total: 1,759,540 sq km; land: 1,759,540 sq km, water: 0 sq km. This sovereign state is about 2.5 times the size of Texas, slightly larger than Alaska. The total irrigated land is 4,700 sq km (2012).
One of Libya’s important features: More than 90% of the country is desert or semidesert. The volcano Waw an Namus lies in south-central Libya in the middle of the Sahara. The caldera is an oasis – the name means “oasis of mosquitoes” – containing several small lakes surrounded by vegetation and hosting various insects and a broad diversity of birds.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Tripoli’s GPS coordinates are 32 53 N 13 10 E. Tripoli’s local time is 7 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+2.
The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when they were defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar al-QADHAFI assumed leadership and began to espouse his political system at home, a combination of socialism and Islam. During the 1970s, QADHAFI used oil revenues to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversive and terrorist activities that included the downing of two airliners – one over Scotland, another in Northern Africa – and a discotheque bombing in Berlin.
UN sanctions in 1992 isolated QADHAFI politically and economically following the attacks; sanctions were lifted in 2003 following Libyan acceptance of responsibility for the bombings and agreement to claimant compensation. QADHAFI also agreed to end Libya’s program to develop weapons of mass destruction, and he made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations. The unrest that began in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in late 2010 erupted in Libyan cities in early 2011. QADHAFI’s brutal crackdown on protesters spawned a civil war that triggered UN authorization of air and naval intervention by the international community. After months of seesaw fighting between government and opposition forces, the QADHAFI regime was toppled in mid-2011 and replaced by a transitional government known as the National Transitional Council (NTC). In 2012, the NTC handed power to an elected parliament, the General National Congress (GNC). Voters chose a new parliament to replace the GNC in June 2014 – the House of Representatives (HoR), which relocated to Tobruk’s eastern city after fighting broke out in Tripoli and Benghazi in July 2014. In December 2015, the UN-brokered an agreement among a broad array of Libyan political parties and social groups – known as the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA). Members of the Libyan Political Dialogue, including the HoR and GNC representatives, signed the LPA in December 2015. The LPA called for forming an interim Government of National Accord or GNA, with a nine-member Presidency Council, the HoR, and an advisory High Council of State that most ex-GNC members joined. The LPA’s roadmap for a transition to a new constitution and the elected government was subsequently endorsed by UN Security Council Resolution 2259, which also called upon member states to cease official contact with parallel institutions.
In January 2016, the HoR voted to approve the LPA, including the Presidency Council, while voting against a controversial provision on security leadership positions and the Presidency Council’s proposed ministers’ proposed cabinet. In March 2016, the GNA Presidency Council seated itself in Tripoli. In 2016, the GNA announced a slate of ministers who operated in an acting capacity, but the HoR did not endorse the ministerial list. The HoR and defunct-GNC-affiliated political hardliners continued to oppose the GNA and hamper the LPA’s implementation. In September 2017, UN Special Representative Ghassan SALAME announced a new roadmap for national political reconciliation. SALAME’s plan called for amendments to the LPA, a national conference of Libyan leaders, and a constitutional referendum and general elections. In November 2018, the international partners supported SALAME’s recalibrated Action Plan for Libya to break the political deadlock by holding a National Conference in Libya in 2019 on a timeline for a political transition. The National Conference was delayed following the parties’ failure to implement an agreement mediated by SALAME in Abu Dhabi on February 27. The subsequent military action by Khalifa HAFTAR’s Libyan National Army against GNA forces in Tripoli that began in April 2019.
Libya’s names conventional long form: none, traditional short form: Libya, local long form: none, local short form: Libiya. Note: name derives from the Libu, an ancient Libyan tribe first mentioned in texts from the 13th century B.C. The name derives from the Libu, an ancient Libyan tribe first mentioned in texts from the 13th century B.C.
Libya’s terrain is typically mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions. The country’s mean elevation: 423 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m, highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m.
The general climate in the country; the Mediterranean along the coast: dry, extreme desert interior.
The total number of border countries is 6, Algeria 989 km, Chad 1,050 km, Egypt 1,115 km, Niger 342 km, Sudan 382 km, Tunisia 461 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Libya’s coastline is 1,770 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles. Note: Gulf of Sidra closing line – 32 degrees, 30 minutes north exclusive fishing zone: 62 nautical miles. Waterways: N/A. Land use: agricultural land: 8.8%; arable land 1%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 7.6%; forest: 0.1%; other: 91.1% (2011 estimate).
The population in Libya 6,754,507 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 78.6% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: TRIPOLI (capital) 1.126 million (2015), while Libya has well over 90% of the population lives along the Mediterranean coast in and between the western city of Az Zawiyah (just west of Tripoli) and the eastern city of Darnah; the interior remains vastly underpopulated due to the Sahara and lack of surface water. Their spoken languages are Arabic (official language), Italian, English (all widely understood in the major cities), Berber (Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq). Main religions in Libya are Muslim (official; virtually all Sunni) 96.6%; Christian 2.7%, Buddhist 0.3%, Hindu. The nation uses Libya’s post-revolution legal system is in flux and driven by state and non-state entities. It is a(n) in transition, National holiday(s) Liberation Day, 23 October (2011).
Economic overview for the country: Libya’s economy, almost entirely dependent on oil and gas exports, has struggled since 2014, given security and political instability, disruptions in oil production, and decline in global oil prices. The Libyan dinar has lost much of its value since 2014. The resulting gap between official and black market exchange rates has spurred a shadow economy’s growth and contributed to inflation. The country suffers from widespread power outages caused by shortages of fuel for power generation. Living conditions, including access to clean drinking water, medical services, and safe housing, have declined since 2011.
Oil production in 2017 reached a five-year high, driving GDP growth, with average daily production rising to 879,000 barrels per day. However, oil production levels remain below the average pre-Revolution highs of 1.6 million barrels per day. The Central Bank of Libya continued to pay government salaries to most Libyan workforce and fund subsidies for fuel and food, resulting in an estimated budget deficit of about 17% of GDP in 2017. Low consumer confidence in the banking sector and the economy has driven a severe liquidity shortage.
Natural resources of Libya: petroleum, natural gas, gypsum.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Libya: Hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall, dust storms, sandstorms, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Libya faces the following environmental issues: Desertification, Limited natural freshwater resources, The Great Manmade River Project, the most massive water development scheme in the world, brings water from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities, water pollution is a significant problem, The combined impact of sewage, oil byproducts, and industrial waste threatens Libya’s coast and the Mediterranean Sea.