The war that erupted in Libya in 2011 is over, but the security situation in the country remains weak.
Before the unrest, tourists were particularly attracted to the ruins of antiquity – both Greeks and Romans – and Tripoli, Libya’s exotic capital at the crossroads of the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean.
The Libyan crisis – this is how the civil war progressed
The civil war in Libya was declared over in October 2011 when dictator Muammar Gaddafi was assassinated in Syrt. However, the traces of the crisis will be visible in Libya for a long time to come – the war is fresh in the minds of experienced local and news-watching tourists.
In late 2010, the Arab uprisings originated in North Africa according to countryaah. Within a few months, they spread from Tunisia through Egypt to Libya, where major demonstrations were directed against dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
The uprising that began in Benghazi in February 2011 marked a violent start as the Gaddafi regime tried to quell the protests. Within days, the death toll was reportedly rising to over a hundred.
The situation progressed rapidly: just a week after the demonstrations began, virtually all foreigners left the country and locals sought refuge in Tunisia.
After Gaddafi launched a full-scale military operation against the rebel forces and a month after the crisis continued, the UN allowed the establishment of a no-fly zone in Libya and the use of military force against Libya.
After quite lengthy negotiations, the Libyan operation was led by NATO, the North Atlantic Defense Alliance.
Following the failure of the talks, violence in Libya continued as Gaddafi continued to try to roll up rebel forces. The troops received air support from a NATO-led alliance, mainly Western.
In August 2011, the rebels advanced into Tripoli and managed to take over most of the city as well as Gaddafi’s base. The situation escalated in October when Gaddafi, who fled the rebel forces, was captured and killed in Syrt. The war was declared over on October 23, 2011.
Before the war: Antiquity, the desert and exotics
Prior to the explosion, Libya’s popularity as a tourist destination was steadily rising and the importance of tourism to the country was growing.
Short for LY by abbreviationfinder, Libya is a destination for a cocktail of contrasts. The Sahara Desert, comprising nine tenths of a country, is the dominant element, broken by Mediterranean storms and refreshing sea breezes.
Libya’s most popular attractions date back to ancient times. There are ruins of both Greek and Roman buildings in the country. On the other hand, there is also the influence of the Ottomans, which blends into Arab-Islamic culture.
This interesting, and certainly very exotic, Nordic taste can be most easily thrown into the Libyan capital, Tripoli. The unhurriedness of the bazaars, the simple modest Libyan food and, on the other hand, the beaches of the Mediterranean were among the tourist experiences in Libya.
Libya’s future open
The continuing confusing situation in Libya and its development can only be guessed at. A few airlines have reopened routes to Libya, but the country’s security situation is still considered weak and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs does not recommend travel, especially outside Tripoli.
The aftermath of the conflict is likely to be felt in Libya for a long time to come. Even if the story ends – given the circumstances – a happy ending, it is difficult to predict the future of the country. The impact of the unrest on infrastructure and the human and material damage caused by the war are still entirely subject to speculation.
Libya would easily be counted among the doomed states. On the other hand, there are still encouraging examples from the recent past: Egyptian tourism is slowly beginning to recover with the new regime. Thailand also got on its feet fairly quickly after the tsunami that shocked the world.
In addition to the mainstream media, the situation in Libya is monitored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose Travel Bulletins can be found on the Ministry’s website.