Libya

The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in 1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar al-Qadhafi assumed leadership and began to espouse his political system at home, which was a combination of socialism and Islam. During the 1970s, Qadhafi used oil revenues to promote his ideology outside Libya, supporting subversive and terrorist activities that included the downing of two airliners - one over Scotland, another in Northern Africa - and a discotheque bombing in Berlin. UN sanctions in 1992 isolated Qadhafi politically and economically following the attacks; sanctions were lifted in 2003 following Libyan acceptance of responsibility for the bombings and agreement to claimant compensation. Qadhafi also agreed to end Libya's program to develop weapons of mass destruction, and he made significant strides in normalizing relations with Western nations. Unrest that began in several Middle Eastern and North African countries in late 2010 erupted in Libyan cities in early 2011. Qadhafi's brutal crackdown on protesters spawned a civil war that triggered UN authorization of air and naval intervention by the international community. After months of seesaw fighting between government and opposition forces, the Qadhafi regime was toppled in mid-2011 and replaced by a transitional government. Libya in 2012 formed a new parliament and elected a new prime minister.

Religion and Gender in Extremist Violence: A Discussion with Human Rights Defenders

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:30
Thu, 02/12/2015 - 15:00

Former President Jimmy Carter calls discrimination and violence against women and girls one of the most serious and pervasive -- yet ignored -- violations of human rights. Escalating violent religious extremism fuels this pattern. On Thursday, Feb. 12, the U.S. Institute of Peace and The Carter Center were pleased to host this event, which addressed ways in which human rights defenders in Libya and Iraq are working to build peace with particular attention to the role of religion and gender. 

carter center logoReligion often is used to justify violence and the unequal status of women. More than ever, these problems are interrelated, and efforts that address them in isolation fail to produce comprehensive, long-term strategies.

Manal Omar, Welcoming Remarks
Acting Vice President, Center for Middle East and Africa, USIP

Karin Ryan, Remarks
Senior Advisor for Human Rights and Project Director, Mobilizing Action for Women and Girls Initiative, The Carter Center

Panel Discussion: 

  • Dr. Alaa Murabit
    Founder, The Voice of Libyan Women
  • Mubin Shaikh
    Counterterrorism, CVE and De-radicalization Expert in Canada
  • Sanam Naraghi Anderlini
    Co-Founder & Executive Director, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN)
  • Fatima Kadhim Al-Bahadly
    Director, Al-Firdaws Society, Iraq
  • Susan Hayward, Moderator
    Interim Director, Religion & Peacebuilding Center, USIP

Q&A with audience

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Security and Justice in Post-Revolution Libya: Dignity, Dawn, and Deadlock

Tue, 09/30/2014 - 10:00
Tue, 09/30/2014 - 12:00

Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on September 30 for a discussion on Libya’s security and justice landscape and the country’s current crisis.

Following the 2011 Libyan revolution that removed Muammar Qaddafi from power, state security and justice institutions have struggled to reemerge to meet the needs of the people. In the resulting security vacuum, armed groups have assumed a role in security provision, many as quasi-state actors and yet outside of state command and control. Formal security and justice actors have been threatened, attacked, and assassinated. 

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Comparative National Dialogue Approaches

Wed, 11/06/2013 - 09:30
Wed, 11/06/2013 - 11:00
Subtitle: 
Transition Processes in Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen

As Yemen concludes its National Dialogue Conference, many question whether thus far inclusive and peaceful negotiations can act as a model for other transitioning countries. Tunisia also recently designed a national dialogue process to work through a political stalemate and re-start its post-Arab Spring transition process. Libya is also trying to work through its challenges through a holistic, national transition process.

While there are positive lessons learned from both countries’ experiences, there also have been pitfalls. The Yemeni and Tunisian experiences suggest that the timing of national dialogue processes vis-à-vis other political events and their relationship with other issues involved in political transition (such as institutional reform) are critical to ensuring the national dialogue can meet its stated goals.

Speakers included:

  • William Taylor, Opening Remarks
    Vice President, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Dr. Aref Ali Nayed, Panelist
    Chairman, Libya Institute for Advanced Studies
  • Radwan Masmoudi, Panelist
    President, Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy 
  • Daniel Brumberg, Discussant
    Senior Advisor, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Erica Gaston, Discussant
    Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Manal Omar, Moderator
    Associate Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, U.S Institute of Peace
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Water Security and Conflict Prevention Summit

Tue, 09/10/2013 - 08:30
Tue, 09/10/2013 - 14:00

On September 10, 2013, U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), and the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) hosted a summit on the growing concerns in water security and the risks for increased conflict.

Read the event coverage, USIP Hosts International Gathering on Water Security and Conflict Prevention

Water is an undeniable, un-substitutable, and powerful factor in everyone’s life, from sustaining individual lives to defining both economic and social policies and practices. As populations and demand expand while supplies decline, access to water will become increasingly difficult, raising the prospects for conflict over this precious resource. By 2025, experts estimated that 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions of absolute water scarcity.

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Effective Foreign Assistance and National Security: A View from Congressman Adam Smith

Fri, 07/19/2013 - 09:00
Fri, 07/19/2013 - 10:30
Subtitle: 
A USIP Congressional Newsmaker Series Event

Congressman Adam Smith (D-WA), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, offered his views on how foreign assistance preserves and promotes the country’s national security.

Drawing from his extensive experience assessing U.S. military capabilities, strengths and needs, Congressman Smith spoke about the importance of strengthening American diplomacy and development capabilities, as well as defense.

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Lessons Learned from Iraq and How They Apply to North Africa

Tue, 04/09/2013 - 10:00
Tue, 04/09/2013 - 12:00

The event highlighted the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) experience in Iraq and examined the major problems it discovered, such as America’s “ad hoc” approach, the effectiveness of oversight, funding challenges, and the larger issue of nation-building. Experts explored how lessons learned from Iraq could be applied to other American-led efforts, such as those associated with emerging democracies.

 

Read the event coverage, Iraq Lessons: Will They Be Heeded?

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Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen on March 6 released SIGIR’s final report for Congress, “Learning From Iraq,” which details the accomplishments of the U.S. reconstruction efforts in Iraq. The report provides an “instructive picture of what was the largest stabilization and reconstruction operation ever undertaken by the United States (until recently overtaken by Afghanistan)."  Additionally, the report outlines seven lessons that the U.S. should implement to improve its approach to future stabilization and reconstruction operations.

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People, Power and Politics: A New Approach to Rule of Law Training

The prosecutor has the sort of confidence wrested from 15 years of experience against the odds in a country beset by external and internal security threats. When I ask him to describe his justice system in just three adjectives, he quickly declares: “good, needs improvement and practical.” Asked to describe it from a very different perspective, though, his face turns into a grimace.

In a prototype exercise during a new course we’re piloting on the rule of law, the prosecutor and others taking part from the Middle East and Africa had randomly drawn slips of paper, each outlining a different role for them to adopt. After earlier describing their justice systems from their own perspectives, they now must take on the new persona and characterize it again. The prosecutor reads his role description out loud: “You are a 16-year-old girl living in the capital city. You were raped by a man in your neighborhood.

Leanne McKay
Mon, 03/23/2015 - 13:23
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Understanding the Role of Libya's Religious Actors in Confronting Violent Extremism

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 15:00
Mon, 03/16/2015 - 16:30

On Monday, March 16, founding director of USIP partner Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace Ms. Zahra’ Langhi will discuss the current and potential roles of religious actors in peace and justice efforts in Libya. Specifically, she will highlight key themes from a USIP-sponsored project to map Libya’s religious actors, and she will address the ways in which they are impacting efforts to counter violent extremism.

While the international community hopes to reverse Libya’s rising violence and extremism, it has failed to engage a critical constituency—the country’s religious leaders and activists. Zahra’ Langhi of the Libyan Women’s Platform for Peace (LWPP), in collaboration with the U.S. Institute of Peace, has spent recent months researching and mapping this religious sector. Join us on Monday, March 16 as Langhi offers insights on how international actors can build peacemaking strategies with Libyan religious figures.

Susan Hayward, Welcoming Remarks
Interim Director, Religion & Peacebuilding Center, USIP

Palwasha Kakar, Introductory Remarks
Senior Program Officer, Religion & Peacebuilding, USIP

Zahra' Langhi, Keynote Remarks
Founding Director, Libyan Women's Platform for Peace

Q&A

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Managing Conflict in a World Adrift

In the midst of a political shift where power is moving from central institutions to smaller, more distributed units in the international system, the approaches to and methodologies for peacemaking are changing. "Managing Conflict in a World Adrift" provides a sobering panorama of contemporary conflict, along with innovative thinking about how to respond now that new forces and dynamics are at play.

"Managing Conflict in a World Adrift," the fourth volume in the landmark series edited by Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall, is the follow-on to "Leashing the Dogs of War," the definitive text on the sources of conflict and solutions for preventing and managing conflict. Forty of the most influential analysts of international affairs present varied perspectives and insightful thinking to inform a new framework for understanding current demands of conflict management.

Chester A. Crocker, Fen Osler Hampson, and Pamela Aall editors
Wed, 02/04/2015 - 12:40

Articles & Analysis

The prosecutor has the sort of confidence wrested from 15 years of experience against the odds in a country beset by external and internal security threats. When I ask him to describe his justice...

By:
Leanne McKay

Fatima Kadhim al-Bahadly, an activist for women in southern Iraq, remembers the swell of chaos across her country last June. The extremist militant group calling itself “the Islamic State” had...

By:
Viola Gienger

American and British ambassadors joined Libyan activists and analysts for a USIP Twitter chat this week, as rival lawmakers in Libya met for negotiations brokered by the United Nations to end the...

By:
Steven Ruder

Videos & Webcasts

Former President Jimmy Carter calls discrimination and violence against women and girls one of the most serious and pervasive -- yet ignored -- violations of human rights. Escalating violent...

On October 24, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, the McCain Institute and the Truman National Security Project-Center for National Policy convened a...

Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on September 30 for a discussion on Libya’s security and justice landscape and the country’s current crisis.

Learn More

Publications

In the midst of a political shift where power is moving from central institutions to smaller, more distributed units in the international system, the approaches to and methodologies for peacemaking...
In the wake of the Arab Spring, citizens across the Middle East and North Africa are demanding reforms from their governments. How these governments respond to their people and promote inclusive...