Archive for the ‘Libya’ Category

Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?

August 13, 2012 Comments off

Does food security matter for transition in Arab countries?
Source: International Food Policy Research Institute

Expectations are high that transition in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen will bring about more freedom, justice, and economic opportunities. However, experiences from other world regions show that countries in transition are at high risk of entering conflicts, which often come at large economic, social and political costs. In order to identify options on how conflict may be prevented in Arab transition countries, this paper assesses the key global drivers of conflicts based on a dataset from 1960 to 2010 and improved cross-country regression techniques. Results show that unlike in other studies where per capita incomes, inequality, and poor governance, among other factors, emerge as the major determinants of conflict, food security at macro- and micro-levels emerges as the main cause of conflicts in the Arab world. This “Arab exceptionalism in conflict” suggests that improving food security is not only important for improving the lives of rural and urban people; it is also likely to be the key for a peaceful transition.

Predicting the Impact of the 2011 Conflict in Libya on Population Mental Health: PTSD and Depression Prevalence and Mental Health Service Requirements

July 18, 2012 Comments off

Predicting the Impact of the 2011 Conflict in Libya on Population Mental Health: PTSD and Depression Prevalence and Mental Health Service Requirements

Source: PLoS One


Mental disorders are likely to be elevated in the Libyan population during the post-conflict period. We estimated cases of severe PTSD and depression and related health service requirements using modelling from existing epidemiological data and current recommended mental health service targets in low and middle income countries (LMIC’s).


Post-conflict prevalence estimates were derived from models based on a previously conducted systematic review and meta-regression analysis of mental health among populations living in conflict. Political terror ratings and intensity of exposure to traumatic events were used in predictive models. Prevalence of severe cases was applied to chosen populations along with uncertainty ranges. Six populations deemed to be affected by the conflict were chosen for modelling: Misrata (population of 444,812), Benghazi (pop. 674,094), Zintan (pop. 40,000), displaced people within Tripoli/Zlitan (pop. 49,000), displaced people within Misrata (pop. 25,000) and Ras Jdir camps (pop. 3,700). Proposed targets for service coverage, resource utilisation and full-time equivalent staffing for management of severe cases of major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are based on a published model for LMIC’s.


Severe PTSD prevalence in populations exposed to a high level of political terror and traumatic events was estimated at 12.4% (95%CI 8.5–16.7) and was 19.8% (95%CI 14.0–26.3) for severe depression. Across all six populations (total population 1,236,600), the conflict could be associated with 123,200 (71,600–182,400) cases of severe PTSD and 228,100 (134,000–344,200) cases of severe depression; 50% of PTSD cases were estimated to co-occur with severe depression. Based upon service coverage targets, approximately 154 full-time equivalent staff would be required to respond to these cases sufficiently which is substantially below the current level of resource estimates for these regions.


This is the first attempt to predict the mental health burden and consequent service response needs of such a conflict, and is crucially timed for Libya.

Libya: Rule of Law or Rule of Militias?

July 9, 2012 Comments off

Libya: Rule of Law or Rule of Militias?
Source: Amnesty International

Two sisters aged 27 and 32 were stopped by a militia at a checkpoint in February 2012 and forced at gunpoint to a nearby farm. One was suspended from a door for hours, had boiling water poured over her head, and was beaten and stabbed while being accused of supporting the former government of Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi. The other was also suspended and beaten. The husband of one of them, who was detained at the same time, has disappeared.

This family is among the mounting toll of victims of an increasingly lawless Libya, where the transitional authorities have been unable or unwilling to rein in the hundreds of militias formed during and after the 2011 conflict that ended the rule of Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi. The militias are now threatening the very future of Libya and casting a shadow over landmark national elections scheduled for July 7, 2012. They are killing people, making arbitrary arrests, torturing detainees and forcibly displacing and terrorizing entire communities, often solely for reasons of revenge. They are also recklessly using machineguns, mortars and other weaponry during tribal and territorial battles, killing and maiming bystanders. They act above the law, committing their crimes without fear of punishment.

Country Analysis Brief: Libya

July 1, 2012 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Libya
Source: Energy Information Administration

Libya produced an estimated 1.65 million barrels per day (bbl/d) of mostly high-quality light, sweet crude oil prior to the onset of unrest in February 2011. Libyan oil and natural gas exports suffered a near-total disruption in the months of intense fighting to follow, as the minimal and sporadic oil production that did occur was mostly consumed domestically. As a result, in the summer of 2011, the International Energy Agency (IEA) coordinated a release of 60 million barrels of oil from the emergency stocks of its member countries through the “Libya Collective Action” – the first such release since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Libyan oil production began its resurgence in September 2011, following the deposition of Col. Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi’s regime and the gradual consolidation of control over most parts of the country by the Transitional National Council (TNC) and affiliated rebel militias. Crude oil production was estimated to have recovered to at least 1.4 million bbl/d by May 2012, as the impressive pace of the sector’s recovery exceeded the expectations of most industry analysts. Nonetheless, there are significant downside as well as upside risks to the outlook for Libyan oil production due to continued uncertainty about security conditions, state cohesion, political institutions, the return of foreign capital and expertise, contract terms, and industry oversight.

The Rise of Diabetes Prevalence in the Arab Region

May 31, 2012 Comments off
Source:  Open Journal of Epidemiology
Arab populations have many similarities and dissimilarities. They share culture, language and religion but they are also subject to economic, political and social differences. The purpose of this study is to understand the causes of the rising trend of diabetes prevalence in order to suggest efficient actions susceptible to reduce the burden of diabetes in the Arab world.
We use principal component analysis to illustrate similarities and differences between Arab countries according to four variables: 1) the prevalence of diabetes, 2) impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), 3) diabetes related deaths and 4) diabetes related expenditure per person. A linear regression is also used to study the correlation between human development index and diabetes prevalence.
Arab countries are mainly classified into three groups according to the diabetes comparative prevalence (high, medium and low) but other differences are seen in terms of diabetes-related mortality and diabetes related expenditure per person. We also investigate the correlation between the human development index (HDI) and diabetes comparative prevalence (R = 0.81).
The alarming rising trend of diabetes prevalence in the Arab region constitutes a real challenge for heath decision makers. In order to alleviate the burden of diabetes, preventive strategies are needed, based essentially on sensitization for a more healthy diet with regular exercise but health authorities are also asked to provide populations with heath- care and early diagnosis to avoid the high burden caused by complications of diabetes.

Unveiling the Revolutionaries: Cyberactivism and Women’s Role in the Arab Uprisings

May 24, 2012 Comments off
Source: James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy (Rice University)

This research introduces several of the key figures leading the revolutionary convulsions in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, and Yemen, and explores how young women used social media and cyberactivism to help shape the “Arab Spring” and its aftermath. The engagement of women with social media has coincided with a shift in the political landscape of the Middle East, and it is unlikely that they will ever retreat from the new arenas they have carved out for themselves. Throughout the region, women have taken to the streets in unprecedented numbers, translating digital advocacy and organization into physical mobilization and occupation of public spaces in a dialectic of online and offline activism that is particular to this era. They have used citizen journalism and social networking to counter the state-dominated media in their countries and influence mainstream media around the world. In the process, they are reconfiguring the public sphere in their countries, as well as the expectations of the public about the role women can and should play in the political lives of their countries.

Unclassified Statement for the Record on the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

February 1, 2012 Comments off

Unclassified Statement for the Record on the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community for the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (PDF)
Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence (James R. Clapper)

This statement provides extensive detail about numerous state and nonstate actors, crosscutting political, economic, and military developments and transnational trends, all of which constitute our nation‟s strategic and tactical landscape. Although I believe that counterterrorism, counterproliferation, cybersecurity, and counterintelligence are at the immediate forefront of our security concerns, it is virtually impossible to rank—in terms of long-term importance—the numerous, potential threats to US national security. The United States no longer faces—as in the Cold War—one dominant threat. Rather, it is the multiplicity and interconnectedness of potential threats—and the actors behind them—that constitute our biggest challenge. Indeed, even the four categories noted above are also inextricably linked, reflecting a quickly changing international environment of rising new powers, rapid diffusion of power to nonstate actors and ever greater access by individuals and small groups to lethal technologies. We in the Intelligence Community believe it is our duty to work together as an integrated team to understand and master this complexity. By providing better strategic and tactical intelligence, we can partner more effectively with other Government officials at home and abroad to protect our vital national interests.

State Department Travel Warning: Libya

September 25, 2011 Comments off

Travel Warning: Libya
Source: U.S. Department of State

The Department of State warns U.S. citizens against all but essential travel to Libya due to the ongoing unrest. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated August 23, 2011 to note the resumption of Embassy operations and continuing limitations of consular services to U.S. citizens.

The United States recognized the Libyan Transitional National Council (TNC) as the legitimate governing authority of Libya on July 15, 2011 and returned our Deputy Chief of Mission on September 10, 2011 and resumed Embassy operations in Tripoli, Libya on September 22, 2011. However, services available to U.S. citizens in Libya are limited to emergency services. Individuals requiring routine consular services or assistance in obtaining immigrant or non-immigrant visas to the United States should apply at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate outside of Libya.

U.S. citizens traveling to, or remaining in, Libya despite this Travel Warning should limit nonessential travel within the country, make their own contingency emergency plans, enroll their presence in Libya through the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and provide their current contact information and next-of-kin or emergency contact information.

The Embassy’s website, available at, includes consular information and the most recent messages to U.S. citizens in Libya. U.S. citizens in need of emergency assistance should call 091-379-4560 within Libya or 218-91-379-4560 if dialing from outside of Libya.

Libya: The battle for Libya: Killings, disappearances and torture

September 21, 2011 Comments off

Libya: The battle for Libya: Killings, disappearances and torture
Source: Amnesty International

In mid-February 2011 Libyans called for a “Day of Rage” against the iron-fist rule of Colonel Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi, in power since 1969. The protests were met with lethal force. By early March the uprising had evolved into an armed conflict between forces loyal to Colonel al-Gaddafi and armed protesters coalesced into a loosely structured force led by the newly established National Transitional Council. This report documents serious and widespread human rights violations by al-Gaddafi forces and also abuses committed by the opposition.

+ Full Report (PDF)

State Department Travel Warning: Libya

August 28, 2011 Comments off

State Department Travel Warning: Libya
Source: U.S. Department of State

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Libya, and recommends that U.S. citizens in Libya depart immediately due to the ongoing fighting between opposition and government forces throughout Libya. Currently, there is a risk of attacks against hotels and other public buildings in Benghazi and other opposition-held areas in Libya. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated February 25, 2011.

What has the EU been doing to support the Libyan people?

August 24, 2011 Comments off

What has the EU been doing to support the Libyan people?
Source: European Commission

After six months of conflict, events in Libya reached a decisive moment over the weekend of 20-21 August with the rebels’ entry into Tripoli. The European Commission has been preparing intensively for this moment – and for the challenges that lie ahead – since the beginning of the Libyan uprising. Below is an overview of some of the key milestones in the Commission’s efforts to support the Libyan people, as well as the broader Southern Mediterranean area, at this time of momentous change.

State Department Travel Warning: Libya

July 24, 2011 Comments off

State Department Travel Warning: Libya
Source: U.S. Department of State

The Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens against travel to Libya, and recommends that U.S. citizens in Libya depart immediately due to the ongoing fighting between opposition and government forces throughout Libya. Currently, there is a risk of attacks against hotels and other public buildings in Benghazi and other opposition-held areas in Libya. This Travel Warning supersedes the Travel Warning dated February 25, 2011.

Commission proposes better management of migration to the EU

May 5, 2011 Comments off

Commission proposes better management of migration to the EU
Source: European Commission

Today, the Commission presented initiatives for a more structured, comprehensive, rapid-response approach from the EU to the challenges and opportunities of migration, not least in view of the current developments in the Mediterranean. The initiatives cover various aspects of migration, including strengthened border control and Schengen governance, completion of the Common European Asylum System, more targeted legal migration, exchange of best practices for successful integration of migrants, and a strategic approach for relations with third countries on migration. These initiatives come in addition to the urgent short-term measures already taken by the Commission to deal with the migration situation in the Mediterranean and migration pressures on frontline Member States.

“It is clear that the EU needs a strong common asylum and migration policy. This has only become more evident in recent months, in view of the historic events taking place in North Africa. The EU must live up to its vocation to offer a haven to those in need of protection, and at the same time show solidarity both with the countries in North Africa which are currently sheltering the vast bulk of the migrants from Libya, as well as with those of our Member States faced with the greatest influx of migrants arriving by sea. It is also clear that the EU would benefit from some targeted labour immigration in order to help address expected labour shortages in many sectors, and to redress the projected decline in Europe’s working age population in the coming years. But migration must at the same time be properly managed – this means ensuring effective border control and the return of irregular migrants. This also means that we should not leave it only up to the Member States at our external borders to deal with extraordinary migratory situations. And this means setting up migration and mobility partnerships with non-EU countries so that we can work together. We must keep these long-term goals in mind also when dealing with the more urgent needs resulting from the turbulence in North Africa”, said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs.

+ Frequently Asked Questions: Addressing the Migratory Crisis
+ The European Commission’s response to the migratory flows from North Africa (8 April 2011)
+ Travelling without borders: Commission proposes stronger monitoring of respect of Schengen rules (16 November 2010)

CRS — Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya): Background and Issues for Congress

April 14, 2011 Comments off

Operation Odyssey Dawn (Libya): Background and Issues for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This report provides an overview of military operations in Libya under U.S. command from March 19 to March 29, 2011, and the most recent developments with respect to the transfer of command of military operations from the United States to NATO on March 30.

The ongoing uprising in Libya against the government of Muammar al Qadhafi has been the subject of evolving domestic and international debate about potential international military intervention, including the proposed establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya. On March 17, 2011, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1973, establishing a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace, authorizing robust enforcement measures for the arms embargo established by Resolution 1970, and authorizing member states “to take all necessary measures … to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.”
In response, the United States established Operation Odyssey Dawn, the U.S. contribution to a multilateral military effort to enforce a no-fly zone and protect civilians in Libya. Military operations under Odyssey Dawn commenced on March 19, 2011. U.S. and coalition forces quickly established command of the air over Libya’s major cities, destroying portions of the Libyan air defense network and attacking pro-Qadhafi forces deemed to pose a threat to civilian populations.

From the outset of operations, the Obama administration declared its intent to transfer command of operations over Libya to a coalition entity. On March 30, 2011, NATO assumed command of all aspects of coalition military operations.

Establishment of the initial no-fly zone over Libya went smoothly. One U.S. aircraft was lost due to mechanical malfunction, but the crew were rescued. Estimates of the cost of the initial operation range between $400 million and $1 billion.

U.S. participation in Operation Odyssey Dawn and NATO operations around Libya raises a number of questions for Congress, including the role of Congress in authorizing the use of force, the costs of the operation, the desired politico-strategic end state, the role of U.S. military forces in an operation under international command, and many others.

(A note on transliteration: The name of Muammar al Qadhafi is transliterated in many ways by various sources. This paper refers to him as Qadhafi except when quoting other documents, wherein his name is represented as it appears in the source.)

U.S. Government Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Libya Crisis

April 8, 2011 Comments off

U.S. Government Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Libya Crisis
Source: U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Government has provided $47 million to international and non-governmental organizations to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of people fleeing the violence in Libya. (Please see chart below for details.) We have deployed a team of disaster response experts to the region, and are working closely with host governments, the United Nations, NGOs and other international partners to assess and address urgent humanitarian needs in Libya and neighboring countries.

U.S. Government humanitarian assistance is also reaching beneficiaries inside Libya, providing needed medical supplies and staff, pre-positioning and distributing emergency relief commodities, and supporting medical training for mass casualty care and transport.

More than 439,000 people have fled from Libya since late February and more than 210,000 of these have been third-country nationals.. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), roughly 6,000 people cross Libyan borders every day.

IOM and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have provided direct transportation assistance to repatriate more than 90,000 people from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, and Niger. As of April 5, more than 13,000 people are awaiting evacuation assistance.

CRS — No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress

March 30, 2011 Comments off

No-Fly Zones: Strategic, Operational, and Legal Considerations for Congress (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service

The ongoing uprising in Libya against the government of Muammar al Qadhafi has been the subject of ongoing domestic and international debate about potential international military intervention, including the proposed establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya. Congress may wish to consider issues surrounding the strategy, international authorization, congressional authorization, operations, and costs of establishing and maintaining no-fly zones.

The military strategy designed to support the grand strategy, it has been suggested, might be based on these considerations: the operational-level military objectives that need to be achieved, to support the overall grand strategy; and the extent to which a no-fly zone—as one set of ways and means—helps achieve those objectives.

Practitioners and observers have debated what constitutes international “authorization” for the establishment of a no-fly zone. Given the paucity of relevant precedents, and the dissimilarities among them, there may not exist a single, clear, agreed model. The concept of authorization is typically considered to be linked to the ideas of both “legality” and “legitimacy”—the three concepts overlap but are all distinct. The precise meaning of each of the terms is still debated. Express authorization from the U.N. Security Council provides the clearest legal basis for imposing a no-fly zone.

In addition to international authorization, debates have addressed the question of congressional authorization—whether and when there is a need for congressional approval based on the War Powers Resolution for a proposed no-fly zone. The question of whether and how congressional authorization is sought for a proposed operation could have an impact on congressional support— including policy, funding, and outreach to the American people—for the operation. Since the War Powers Resolution gives the President the authority to launch U.S. military actions prior to receiving an authorization from Congress for 60-90 days, it is possible that the President could direct U.S. Armed Forces to take or support military actions in accordance with U.N. Security Council resolutions, or in support of NATO operations, and then seek statutory authority for such actions from Congress.

No-fly zone operations can conceivably take a number of different forms, and can themselves vary a great deal over time. Key considerations include, but are not limited to, the following factors: the nature, density, quantity, and quality of adversary air assets; geography; the availability of “friendly” assets; the adversary’s military capabilities and responses; the U.S. military’s concept of operations, and the rules of engagement.

The costs of establishing and maintaining a no-fly zone are likely to vary widely based on several key parameters. They could be the specific military tasks that a given no-fly zone operation calls for, the geography of the adversary’s country, the duration of the no-fly zone, the extent to which the U.S. is joined by international partners in the effort, and the extent of “mission creep”—how, if at all, the operation expands to include a broader array of activities designed to achieve the same military and strategic objectives.

Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Libya

March 28, 2011 Comments off

Remarks by the President in Address to the Nation on Libya
Source: White House

As the bulk of our military effort ratchets down, what we can do — and will do — is support the aspirations of the Libyan people. We have intervened to stop a massacre, and we will work with our allies and partners to maintain the safety of civilians. We will deny the regime arms, cut off its supplies of cash, assist the opposition, and work with other nations to hasten the day when Qaddafi leaves power. It may not happen overnight, as a badly weakened Qaddafi tries desperately to hang on to power. But it should be clear to those around Qaddafi, and to every Libyan, that history is not on Qaddafi’s side. With the time and space that we have provided for the Libyan people, they will be able to determine their own destiny, and that is how it should be.

Department of State — Fact Sheet: Humanitarian Response to Violence in Libya

March 10, 2011 Comments off

Fact Sheet: Humanitarian Response to Violence in Libya
Source: U.S. Department of State

The United States continues to be a leader in supporting the work of international agencies in the region and coordinating with international and multilateral donors and partners.

The new funds include a $10 million contribution toward the United Nations World Food Program’s emergency food operations and $2 million to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in response to the United Nations Regional Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis, and $5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The United States is now providing a total of $47 million in emergency assistance for the humanitarian needs of conflict victims, vulnerable migrants, and others displaced by the increasing civil unrest in Libya.

The European Commission’s humanitarian response to the crisis in Libya

March 7, 2011 Comments off

The European Commission’s humanitarian response to the crisis in Libya
Source: European Commision

The continuing crisis in Libya has triggered an escalating humanitarian emergency. The European Commission has been at the forefront of the international humanitarian response through the mobilisation of a comprehensive range of measures: humanitarian funding and in-kind assistance.

Country Analysis Brief: Libya

February 25, 2011 Comments off

Country Analysis Brief: Libya
Source: Energy Information Administration

The Libyan economy is heavily dependent on the hydrocarbon industry which, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), accounted for over 95 percent of export earnings in 2010. According to the Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Libya holds around 46.4 billion barrels of oil reserves, the largest in Africa, and close to 55 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas reserves. In 2010, total oil production (crude plus liquids) was close to 1.8 million barrels per day (bbl/d).


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