Domestic responses to the Libyan Civil War (2011) During the early stages of the Libyan Civil War
of 2011, the Gaddafi
regime was still in power: but there was widespread withdrawal of support from that regime by influential persons and organisations within the country. Among those who no longer supported the regime, the main concern they expressed was what they regarded as its use of excessive force against peaceful protestors. There were many resignations by ministers of the governing council
and other senior officials, diplomats posted abroad, and senior military officers. Islamic clerics, tribal leaders, and members of the former royal family expressed their opposition, while the two leading Libyan oil companies also withdrew support for the regime.
- Minister for Immigration and Expatriates Ali Errishi, resigned 20 February 2011
- Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil, resigned 21 February 2011. He announced that he had evidence about Gadhafi's order in 1988 to bomb Pan-Am Flight 103.
- Interior Minister and Army General Abdul Fatah Younis, defected 22 February 2011 as he announced his support for the protestors. Later he was appointed by rebels as a head of the opposite armed forces.
- Foreign Affairs Minister Moussa Koussa, resigned and fled to Britain on 30 March 2011
- Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem defected mid-May 2011 and arrived in Rome two weeks later
- Libyan Labour Minister, Al-Amin Manfur, defected and joined the opposition at a meeting of the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.
- Interior Minister, Nasr al-Mabrouk Abdallah, allegedly left to Tunisia on 14 August 2011. On 15 August, he arrived in Cairo by plane with nine of his family members without any advance warning, according to Egyptian airport officials; he claimed to be "on a tourist visit". Abdallah, a military general, succeeded to the post of Interior Minister following Abdul Fatah Younis' resignation and defection to the rebel side, and had preceded Younis to the position in an earlier term of appointment.
Nuri al-Mismari at the 12th African Union summit
Contrary to previous reports, the Ambassador of Libya to the United Kingdom
has not resigned, but did not want to discuss his support for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
According to the Toronto Star
, the Ambassador of Libya to Canada
is on "sick leave".
According to the CNN Library, which was updated on March 29, 2017 "Libyan diplomats at the United Nations, including Libyan Deputy Ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi, took the side of the opposition and demanded the removal of "the tyrant Moammar Gadhafi."
On February 25, 2011 the full Libyan delegation to the Arab League resigned.
A growing number of Libyan embassies around the world have started to fly the former flag of Libya
used between 1951 and 1969.
- Abdul Fatah Younis, interior minister who resigned and defected, held the position of Major General, and was the top military leader.
- Major General Suleiman Mahmoud whom Al Jazeera describes as "a commander of the Libyan army in Tobruk" called Colonel Gaddafi "a tyrant" and announced that he and his forces changed sides towards the protestors.
- On 1 March, Brigadier Musa’ed Ghaidan Al Mansouri the head of the Al Wahat Security Directorate and Brigadier Hassan Ibrahim Al Qarawi defected to the anti-government side.
- Brigadier Dawood Issa Al Qafsi also said that he "join[s] the Feb 17 revolution. With me are officers, non commissioned officers and soldiers in the Armed Forces units in Ajdabiya, Brega, Bisher, Ogaila, Sultan and Zuwetina...Glory to the martyrs of the revolution...We announce that we join the Libyan Military Council formed in Benghazi." This came after he said "two war planes took off from Al Qurdabiyeh base in Sirte for a raid on the town of Ajdabiya. It was confronted by Anti-aircraft guns and forced it to flee without human casualties. We call on our honorable people in Sirte to intervene and to advice their sons to refuse bombarding any Libyan town to spare the blood of the innocent of our great people."
- Two Libyan Air Force colonels each flew their Mirage F1 fighter jets to Malta after being ordered to carry out air strikes against anti-government protesters in Benghazi. One of the Libyan colonels has reportedly requested asylum.
- On 13 March 2011, Ali Atiyya, a colonel of the Libyan Air Force at the Mitiga military airport, near Tripoli defected and joined the rebellion.
- Colonel Nuretin Hurala, of the Libyan Navy, commanding Benghazi Naval base and his command, defected to the rebellion.
The Arabian Gulf Oil Company
, the second largest state-owned oil company in Libya, announced plans to use oil funds to support anti-Gaddafi forces.
On April 6, 2011 an oil tanker led by Libyan opposition was captured and sent to Qatar. The head of the National Oil Corporation and former prime minister, Shokri Ghanem, defected in Italy.
By 27 February, Libya's biggest oil company, Agaco, turned against the Gaddafi government.
tribes have announced their support of the protesters.
tribe, based in eastern Libya, have threatened to cut off oil exports from fields in their part of the country if Libyan security forces continued attacking demonstrators.
Libyan-throne claimant, Mohammed El Senussi
, sent his condolences "for the heroes who have laid down their lives, killed by the brutal forces of Gaddafi" and called on the international community "to halt all support for the dictator with immediate effect."
Senussi said that the protesters would be "victorious in the end" and calls for international support to end the violence.
On 24 February, Senussi gave an interview to Al Jazeera English
where he called upon the international community to help remove Gaddafi from power and stop the ongoing "massacre".
He has dismissed talk of a civil war saying "The Libyan people and the tribes have proven they are united".
Questioned about what shape a new government could take, and whether the 1951 royal constitution could be revived, Senussi said that such questions are "premature and are issues that are to be decided by the Libyan people," adding that for now the priority is to stop the "killing of innocent people." On whether he desires to return to Libya he says "The Senussi family considers itself as in the service of the Libyan people."
When asked about reestablishing the monarchy, he stated that he "is a servant to Libyan people, and they decide what they want".
The White House said it will not specify which individuals and groups it is working and reaching out with, when asked if it supports Senussi's calls for international support.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat
, he stated that it is too early to answer if the monarchy in Libya could be restored and if he will be active in Libyan politics. He also says the main objective is to end the violence on the streets in Libya.
On 3 March, it was announced that he planned to return to Libya.
On 4 March, he called the West to use airstrikes against Gaddafi after his contacts in Libya told him they need airstrikes. He also argued that a no-fly zone would be insufficient but later calls for the no-fly zone.
He later stated that international community needs "less talk and more action" to stop the violence.
He has asked for a no-fly zone over Libya but does not support foreign ground troops.
He has also stated that a no-fly zone is the only way to stop Gaddafi who he has said is relying completely on the air force.
On 24 February, his brother Hashem called on Gaddafi "to have mercy" on the demonstrators, just as he did with members of the former Royal Family in 1969 when he allowed them to leave the country unharmed after the coup that overthrew the monarchy.
On 17 March, Prince Mohamed Hilal El Senussi returned to Libya after 41 years in exile.
During the Battle of Sirte
, residents of Sirte
expressed condemnation against the rebels and NATO. According to one resident, "The rebels are worse than rats. NATO is the same as Osama bin Laden
." According to another local woman, "We lived in democracy under Muammer Gaddafi, he was not a dictator. I lived in freedom, Libyan women had full human rights. It isn't that we need Muammer Gaddafi again, but we want to live just as we did before." A local elderly woman stated "They are killing our children. Why are they doing this? For what? Life was good before!"
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Last edited on 31 March 2021, at 21:23
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