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Unfinished RevolutionsYemen, Libya, and Tunisia after the Arab Spring$
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Ibrahim Fraihat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300215632

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300215632.001.0001

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(p.21) One Libya
Unfinished Revolutions

Ibrahim Fraihat

Yale University Press

Chapter 1 focuses on Libya’s transition following the eight-month revolution against Colonel Muammar Qaddafi in 2011 that ended his 42-year reign. It finds that Libya has since been plagued by instability as subsequent governments have been struggled to rule effectively in the face of state collapse and aggressive militias. The chapter identifies four major issues preventing genuine reconciliation in Libya. First is the “culture of the victor,” which has led to the classification of entire towns and tribes as either revolutionaries or loyalists, sharply dividing Libyan society. Second is disarmament, as revolutionaries that successfully toppled Qaddafi have refused to disarm and become part of the country’s new state structure, instead challenging the state and establishing fiefdoms, purportedly to protect the revolution. Conflict between these militias escalated until a new, multilateral civil war broke out in 2014 with several alliances being formed and two governments vying for power. The related final issue is displacement, as some 60,000 Libyans were never able to return home after the original 2011 conflict, and approximately 400,000 fled fighting in 2014.

Keywords:   Libya, Disarmament, Civil war, Displacement, Regime change, Political transition, Militias

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