Libya Politics

Libya Politics, Population and Geography

Background: After a military coup in 1969, Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI seized power and introduced his own political system in the country – a combination of socialism and Islam, which he himself calls “the third international theory “. Considering himself a revolutionary leader, in the 1970s and 1980s. QADDAFI used oil revenues to spread his ideology outside of Libya and even supported foreign terrorists to hasten the end of Marxism and capitalism. Libya’s militaristic adventures failed; in particular, in 1987, the actions of Libyan troops in the northern regions of the Republic of Chad were terminated. Support for international terrorism waned after the UN imposed sanctions on Libya in 1992; these sanctions were suspended in April 1999.


Location: North Africa, on the Mediterranean coast, between Egypt and Tunisia.
Geographic coordinates: 25° 00′ N. latitude, 17° 00′ E
Reference map: Africa.
Area: total: 1,759,540 km2; land surface area: 1,759,540 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: slightly larger than the state of Alaska.
Land borders: total length: 4,383 km; with neighboring states: with Algeria 982 km, with Chad 1,055 km, with Egypt 1,150 km, with Niger 354 km, with Sudan 383 km, with Tunisia 459 km.
Coastline: 1,770 km.
Maritime claims: territorial waters: 12 nautical miles; note: the boundary of the Gulf of Sidra is at 32° 30’N. sh.
Climate: Mediterranean on the coast; extremely dry, desert inland.
Terrain: Mostly barren low-lying plains, turning into hilly, hollowed plateaus.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Sabhat-Guzayip depression -47 m; highest point: Mount Bikku Bitti 2,267 m.
Natural resources: oil, natural gas, gypsum.
Land use: arable land: 1%; cultivated land: 0%; -‘ pastures: 8%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 91% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 4,700 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: hot, dry, dusty “gibli” wind blowing from the south in spring and autumn for one to four days; dust and sand storms.
Actual problems of the environment: desertification; the extremely limited supply of natural drinking water, which is replenished by the Great Man-Made River program, the largest water extraction program in the world, which is supposed to provide cities on the coast with access to vast aquifers that lie under the Sahara.
International agreements on environmental protection: member: Climate change, Desertification, Marine pollution, Ozone layer protection, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Biodiversity, Nuclear Test Ban, Law of the Sea.
Note to the section “Geography”:


Population: 5,240,599 note: including 662,669 foreign nationals, of whom approximately 500,000 or more are Africans residing in Libya (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 35.41% (male 947,645; female 907,854); 15 to 64 years old: 60.64% (male 1,645,085; | female 1,533,066); ‘ over 65: 3.95% (male 101,701; female 105,248) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 2.42% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 27.67 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 3.51 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male/female; under 15: 1.04 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 1.07 male/female; over 65: 0.97 male/female; for the general population: 1.06 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 28.99 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 75.65 years; men: 73.53 years; women: 77.88 years (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate: 3.64 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adults infected with HIV: 0.05% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Libyan; adjective: Libyan.
Ethnic groups: Berbers and Arabs 97%, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians.
Believers: Sunnis 97%.
Language(s): Arabic, Italian, English – all three are widely spoken in major cities.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 76.2%; men: 87.9%; women: 63% (1995 est.). State Name:


Conventional long form: Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya; conventional short form: Libya; local long form: Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah alLibiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah al Uzma; local short form: no.
The generally accepted short form:
State structure: in theory – jamakhiriya (state of the masses), controlled by the population through local councils; in fact – a military dictatorship. See to know more about Libya government and politics.
Capital: Tripoli.
Administrative division: 25 municipalities (baladiyah): Awbari, Az-Zawiyya, Aidabiya, Al-Aziziya, Al-Jabal-al-Akhdar, Al-Jufra, Al-Kufra, Al-Fati, Al-Khums, An-Nukat-al-Kams, Benghazi, Ghadamis, Garyan, Derna, Zlitan, Misurata, Murzuk, Sebkha, Savfagin, Sirte, Ta-rabulus, Tarhuna, Tobruk, Ash-Shati, Yafran; note: these 25 municipalities can be replaced by 13 provinces.
Independence: from 24 December 1951 (from Italy).
National holiday: Revolution Day, September 1 (since 1969).
Constitution: adopted December 11, 1969, amended March 2, 1977
Legal system: based on the Italian civil law system and Islamic law; separate religious courts; the constitution does not provide for judicial review of legislative acts; does not accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal and mandatory.
chief of state: leader of the revolution, Colonel Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADDAFI (since 1 September 1969); note -QADDAFI does not hold any official position, but is the de facto head of state;
head of government: Secretary of the General People’s Committee (Prime Minister) Mubarak al-SHAMEKH (since March 2, 2000);
Government: the General People’s Committee established by the General People’s Congress; elections: national elections are indirect and are carried out through a staggered structure of people’s committees; the head of government is elected by the General People’s Congress; the last elections took place on March 2, 2000 (the date of the next one is unknown); election results: Mubarak al-SHAMEK elected head of government; percentage of votes of the General People’s Congress – no data.
Legislature: unicameral General People’s Congress (number of members unknown; members elected indirectly through a staggered structure of people’s committees).
Judiciary: Supreme Court.
Political parties and leaders: no.
Political influence groups and their leaders: underground there are various Arab nationalist movements and Islamic sects with an extremely small number of members.
Participation in international organizations: ABEDA, AfDB, AFESD, AL, AMF, AMU, CAEU, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, MONUC, NAM, OAPEC, OAU, OIC, OPEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO.
Diplomatic representation in the US: Libya does not have an embassy in the US.
US Embassy: The US Embassy in Tripoli ceased operations on May 2, 1980.
Flag Description: green rectangle, without any decorations; green is the traditional color of Islam (which is the state religion of Libya).

Libya Politics