Helping Libya's new leaders

15th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

The main military, political and diplomatic initiatives taken by Western powers to help the rebellion against the regime of Moamer Kadhafi in Libya:

--FEBRUARY 2011--

- 25: As protests against the regime spread, inspired by revolts elsewhere in the Arab world, French President Nicolas Sarkozy calls on Kadhafi to quit.

- 26: US President Barack Obama also urges Kadhafi to step down. On the 28th, Western governments impose economic sanctions on Kadhafi's regime; both the United Nations and the European Union impose similar measures.

Washington moves military forces within striking distance of Libya.


- 10: France becomes the first country to recognise the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

- 17: A UN Security Council resolution approves "all necessary measures" to impose a no-fly zone, protect civilian areas and pressure Kadhafi into accepting a ceasefire, opening the way to air strikes.

- 19: With loyalist forces threatening rebel-held Benghazi, French, US and British air attacks push them back.

- 29: Libyan opposition envoy Mahmud Jibril meets the foreign ministers of the United States, Britain and France in London.

- 31: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation takes over formal command of the military operation, which becomes a slogging match between rebels entrenched mainly in the east and Kadhafi's forces in the west.


- 20: France and Italy join Britain in sending military advisers to assist the rebels. The United States follows suit.


- 16: The International Criminal Court prosecutor applies for warrants for the arrest of Kadhafi, one of his sons, Seif al-Islam, and intelligence head Abdullah Senussi for crimes against humanity.

- 22: EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton visits Benghazi to open a European Union mission.


- 1: NATO extends its military mission to the end of September.

- 29: France acknowledges dropping arms to the opposition.


- 15: A Libya Contact Group of countries, meeting in Istanbul, recognises the NTC as the country's "legitimate governmental authority."


- 20: Fighting erupts in Tripoli as rebels, backed by NATO air strikes, close in on the capital. On August 23, rebels overrun Kadhafi's fortified headquarters after heavy fighting. They find no trace of the strongman or his sons.


- 1: In Paris, the UN and major powers unblock 15 billion dollars ($10 billion) in frozen Libyan assets in return for the promise of a democratic transition.

- 15: Britain's David Cameron and France's Sarkozy vow more support as they become the first foreign leaders to visit the country since the fall of the Kadhafi regime.

© 2011 AFP

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