The Libyan Civil War

In February 2011, the Middle East was experiencing the Arab Spring, the outbreak of revolutions that toppled dictatorships and attempted to put in place what the people favored. When protests erupted in Benghazi, it only seemed like another instance of the Arab Spring, this time with the goal of ousting Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

Revolutionaries that had previously been banned and disbanded quickly came together in the National Transitional Council, Gaddafi initiated attempts to retake Benhazi, and Western governments sent military advisers, all of which culminated in the death of the dictator in October of that year.

The NTC seemed primed to establish a new Libya, but in fighting Gaddafi, the militias had taken his arsenals and settled into the capital. Additional sub-national loyalties between Arab tribes such as the Berbers and Cyrenaicans internally fractured Libya, and since then, ethnic and religious factions, primarily the Dignity and Dawn movements and Islamic jihadists, have been entrenched in heavy fighting between themselves, mostly through the use of bombing and street fighting. Operation Dignity and Libya Dawn agreed on a ceasefire in January 2015, and the country is now led by two separate governments.

The Western powers that played a role in Gaddafi's downfall have since left Libya to its own internal conflicts, most notably in the case of the United States. Following its failures in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States withdrew after Islamists killed U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens in late 2012.

"That It Should Come to This." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, 10 Jan. 2015. Web. 01 May 2015. <http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21638123-four-year-descent-arab-spring-factional-chaos-it-should-come>.

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