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Libya

Quick Thoughts: Ali Ahmida on the Situation in Libya

[Map of Libya. Image from GEOATLAS - GRAPHI-OGRE via Shutterstock.com]

[The recent upsurge in fighting in Libya has been the most intense since the overthrow of Mu‘ammar Qaddafi in 2011. In addition to pitting various militias against each other, General Khalifa Haftar has proclaimed his intention to seize the reins of power throughout the country. Jadaliyya asked Libya specialist Ali Ahmida to shed light on recent developments]: Jadaliyya (J): Who is General Khalifa Haftar? Ali Ahmida (AA): General Haftar has a controversial history. He is originally from the eastern city of Ijdabia. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Benghazi after Libya’s independence in 1951, and later joined the Unionist Free Officers Organization led by ...

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The Ottoman Scramble for Africa

[Image via Ottoman History Podcast]

During the nineteenth century, the place of the Ottoman Empire in the European state system became the subject of continual debate among the major players on the world political stage. Ottoman statesmen were acutely aware of the empire’s relatively weak position vis-à-vis its neighbors and sought to manage this situation while simultaneously expanding the role of state institutions in the provinces. We often see the Ottomans forced to accept unfavorable economic and political arrangements while playing other empires off each other in order to maintain autonomy. From this perspective, the Ottoman Empire sometimes appears as if partially colonized by its powerful ...

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ليبيا: دولة الميليشيات

[مصدر الصورة فليكر ]

  لم تكد تمضي ثلاثة أيام على سقوط طرابلس في أيدي «الثوار» يوم 20 آب العام 2011، حتى وقع أول الاشتباكات بين المجموعات المسلحة التي أبصرت النور خلال الأشهر الثمانية التي سبقت انهيار نظام معمّر القذافي. يومها، هوّن المتفائلون بتحقيق الديموقراطية في ليبيا من وطأة تلك الاشتباكات، فاعتبرها البعض ظاهرة موقتة يمكن السيطرة عليها فور انتقال ليبيا من دولة قائمة على «حكم الفرد» إلى دولة قائمة على «حكم القانون». لكن الطريقة البشعة التي قتل بها العقيد القذافي في 20 تشرين الأول العام 2011، والتي شاهدها العالم فور وقوعها عبر شاشات التلفزيون ومواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، كانت بالنسبة إلى كثيرين جرسَ انذارٍ لمستوى العنف الخطير الذي يضرب ليبيا، ومؤشراً خطيراً على انفلات أمني لا يمكن ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (October 20)

[In the midst of political and economic instability, Eid al-Adha proved difficult for many in the Maghreb. Photo courtesy of Twitter user Ferdinand Reus.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria La double occultation des événements du 17 octobre 1961. Ait Benali Boubekeur remembers the massacre of FLN supporters in France during the period of the Algerian struggle for independence on 17 October 1961. Ouargla : De Graves Accusations Contre La Police Hadjer Guenafa reports on allegations that the police in ...

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Snatch and Render from Libya

[Still image taken from footage from an RAF Tornado GR4, showing the aircraft using Brimstone Missiles to destroy a Main Battle Tank in Libya during Operation Ellamy in 2011. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

In 2004, the British government brokered the transfer of militants of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) from their “undisclosed locations” in the War on Terror to the Qaddafi regime. “This was the least we could do for you and for Libya to demonstrate the remarkable relationship we have built over the years,” wrote Sir Mark Allen, head of Britain’s MI6 to Qaddafi’s aide Moussa Koussa on 18 March 2004. The specific matter here was the “safe arrival of Abu Abdallah Sadiq,” the nom de plume of Abdul Hakim Belhadj, former emir of LIFG. When Belhadj and his wife arrived in Libya through a MI6-CIA operation, Moussa Koussa chillingly greeted Belhadj, “I’ve been waiting ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Eighteenth Report

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 28 September 2013. This is the eighteenth in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 15 September to 30 September 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Eighteenth Report Introduction: The General National Conference (GNC) held five sessions in which the GNC discussed the national security situation and listened to several reports submitted by the heads and members of GNC committees that deal with the security situation. These ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Ninth Report

[Eye on the GNC logo. Image from ignc.net.ly]

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 26 May 2013. This is the ninth in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 15 April to 1 May 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the LIbyan General National Congress: Ninth Report Introduction Libya's General National Congress held four routine sessions during this period. The highlights of these meetings included the restructuring of the Electoral Commission headed by Nouri El-Abbar, and the issuing of preliminary provisions for the political isolation law, which will be ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Eighth Report

[Eye on the GNC logo. Image from ignc.net.ly]

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 20 May 2013. This is the eighth in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 1 April to 15 April 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Eighth Report Introduction The General National Congress held four sessions in this period, during which members of the Congress discussed three constitutional amendments that require debate and dialogue: reducing the minimum quorum for voting, electing vs. appointing the constituent committee for the constitution ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Seventh Report

[Eye on the GNC logo. Image from ignc.net.ly]

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 8 May 2013. This is the seventh in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 15 March to 1 April 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Seventh Report Introduction The General National Congress held five meetings in this period beginning Sunday March 17, after a weeklong suspension due to the events that were discussed in the previous GNC report. The most significant developments of this period included the approval of the budget, demands ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Sixth Report

[Eye on the GNC logo. Image from ignc.net.ly]

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 22 April 2013. This is the sixth in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 1 March to 15 March 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Sixth Report Introduction  The General National Congress held two sessions in this period and primarily discussed the political isolation law and the finance committee’s report on the state budget. The discussion of the political isolation law was induced by pressure from some individuals ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Fifth Report

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 9 March 2013. This is the fifth in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 15 February to 1 March 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the General National Congress: Fifth Report Introduction These sessions preceded the second anniversary of the February 17 Libyan Revolution. The level of General National Congress activity was notably higher than the previous monitoring period; the GNC held four meetings followed by complementary sessions, and also issued a number of ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Third Report

[Eye on the GNC logo. Image from ignc.net.ly]

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 28 February 2013. This is the third in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 15 January to 1 February 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the General National Congress: The Third Report Introduction On Tuesday evening, 15 January 2013, Mr. Omar Hemedan, the official spokesperson for the General National Congress (GNC), held a weekly press conference to discuss the latest work and updates from the GNC in the past week. The following points came up: With regards to hearing ...

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Human Rights Roadmap for a New Libya

[The following report was published by Human Rights Watch on 3 February 2014] Human Rights Roadmap for a New Libya Introduction After four decades of authoritarian rule, Libya faces the challenge of reforming outdated and repressive legislation and writing new laws that guarantee the full panoply of citizens’ rights. The enduring legacy of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule includes laws that have curtailed the freedoms of generations of Libyans. Since the 2011 revolution in Libya, with some exceptions such as ...

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Libya’s Revolution 'Will Not Stop Until We Have Freedom'

After forty-two years of political oppression in Libya, it was hoped that the apparatus of Gaddafi’s regime would be dismantled after he was swept from power. Vestiges of the despot’s suffocating grip on free speech still remain, and are still being used to suppress political expression. Jamal al-Hajji, a writer and commentator from Tripoli, faces jail and a large fine after comments he made in a television interview in February 2013 sparked a defamation case by government figures. During an ...

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Les villes petites et moyennes dans les revoltes arabes: un etat des lieux

Les villes petites et moyennes dans les révoltes arabes: un état des lieux. Compte rendu de: Karine Benafla (dir.), Dossier « Villes arabes: conflits et protestations », Confluences Méditerranée, 85 (2013), 9-164. Une des dimensions singulières des révoltes arabes est leur territorialité, qui a d'emblée constitué une clé de leur interprétation. Or, cette territorialité est plurielle et se décline en plusieurs moments. Aux révoltes des petites et moyennes villes tunisiennes (Sidi Bouzid, ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (October 14)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria Algeria: Crackdown on Independent Trade Unions Human Rights Watch condemns Algerian authorities’ efforts to limit the formation and operation of ...

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Is Algeria an Anti-Imperialist State?

In the last two years, several articles and analyses have attempted to decrypt Algeria’s ambiguous position toward Western imperialist interventions in Libya and Mali. In contrast to its assertive and resolute diplomacy of the 1960s and 1970s, the Algerian regime confused more than one observer, as it was not easy to tell whether it supported or opposed these recent wars. On the one hand, reductionist views failed to analyze the situation objectively and resorted to the easy explanation: that Algeria is ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (25 September)

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention, and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] News  Iran-US Dialogue Iran: Nasrin Sotoudeh Among Freed Political Prisoners, BBC News Iran has reportedly freed eleven political ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ayca Cubukcu, The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity

Ayça Çubukçu, “The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity,” Humanitarianism and Responsibility, special issue of Journal of Human Rights 12 (2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Ayça Çubukçu (AÇ): This article originated in a piece I wrote for Jadaliyya during the vitalizing days of the Arab Spring, in the heat of debate about the virtues of an international military intervention in Libya. As Jadaliyya readers would recall, following the February ...

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Jadaliyya's Occupation, Intervention, and Law Page Resonates

Since launching in July 2010, the Occupation, Intervention, and Law (O.I.L) page has made rich contributions to the field of studies examining the Middle East, armed conflict, law, and human rights. O.I.L has sought to explore the relationship between, and the debates within, the fields of armed conflict, politics, and international law. These debates include developments in international law; the implications of intervention; the legitimacy, or lack thereof, of resistance; the political economy of ...

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Libya: Which Fate for Gaddafi’s Henchmen?

On 24 March 2013, about 200 former rebel fighters in Libya besieged the prime minister's office, demanding that he resign in accordance with a political isolation law banning members of the former regime from political life. Ali Zeidan, the current prime minister of Libya, served as a diplomat under Gaddafi. The draft political isolation law being debated applies to anybody who held an official position during the final two decades of Gaddafi’s rule, which includes many who have played a prominent ...

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Trial by Error: Justice in Post-Qadhafi Libya

[The following report was issued by International Crisis Group on 17 April 2013.]  Trial by Error: Justice in Post-Qadhafi Libya Executive Summary  There are many necessary cures to Libya’s pervasive insecurity, but few more urgent than repairing its judicial system. Qadhafi-era victims, distrusting an apparatus they view as a relic, take matters in their hands; some armed groups, sceptical of the state’s ability to carry out justice, arbitrarily detain, torture or assassinate presumed ...

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Eye on the Libyan General National Congress: Fourth Report

[The following report was issued by Bokra Youth Organization and H2O Team on 9 March 2013. This is the fourth in a year-long series of reports covering the actions of Libya's General National Council. This issue focuses on the period from 1 February to 15 February 2013. Click here to access the previous report.] Eye on the General National Congress: Fourth Report Introduction The General National Conference (GNC) held five sessions during this period, the final one being 13 February 2013. ...

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Prison Sketches

Prison Sketches [Translated from the Arabic by Sebastian Anstis]  In the beginning was the Word (forbidden) After we had first tasted the terror of their welcome, they stood us in line against the wall. One of them said severely, pointing to the nearest corner: “Those who who’ve got books or magazines or newspapers or anything with writing on it, stack it here.”  Mercy killing I wrote many stories during my prison years. The first three months in the regular Interior Ministry prison were ...

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