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Libya - Security 2006


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Libya - Security 2006

  1. 1. SECURITY, Libya Date Posted: 06-Jan-2006 Janes Sentinel Security Assessment - North Africa SECURITYTerrorism and Insurgency TOP· Libya experienced an Islamist insurgency in the mid 1990s in the form of militant groups that sought to overthrow the regime.· By the end of the 1990s the regime had succeeded in wiping out these groups, although some remnants are rumoured to still be operating.· Ghadaffi remains vigilant against any resurgence of Islamist activity and continues to suppress any suspected Islamist opponents.· Ghadaffi has used the threat of international terrorism as a means of increasing his domestic security apparatus to guard against possible domestic unrest.Terrorist/Insurgent Threat TOPLibya has faced threats from Islamist insurgents in the passed, but currently there is no majorterrorist or insurgent threat to the security of the regime.Religious Militant TOPMilitant IslamistLike all of the countries of North Africa Libya experienced an Islamist revival following theIranian revolution of 1979 and Libyan volunteers went to fight in Afghanistan during the1980s. It was at this time that the stirrings of Islamist militancy began to appear inside Libyaas a number of Sheikhs began covertly preaching jihad. After the end of the war against theSoviets in Afghanistan Libyan veterans turned their attentions towards the Ghadaffi regime.This came to the fore in the mid-1990s when a number of extremist groups began to emerge.There was a series of clashes between security forces and Islamic militants around Benghaziin 1996 and to a lesser extent in 1997. Many of the attacks were attributed to the FightingIslamic Group of Libya (FIGL) that was set up by a group of veterans of the war inAfghanistan in 1990. Major counter-insurgency operations were launched in the east of thecountry under the guise of military exercises or anti-crime operations and suppressed theinsurgency in concert with a vigorous intelligence operation against dissidents. Many of thosemembers of the organisation that had escaped death or arrest fled the country and soughtrefuge either in Europe or in Afghanistan. However, some remnants of these militants arethought to still be active in the mountains in the east of the country, although they are thoughtto consist of a few pockets of individual jihadists who are not linked to any particularThis page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  2. 2. organisation or group. It also appears that a number of Libyans have joined the jihad in Iraq.Despite this, the regime remains vigilant against any potential Islamist opponents and as suchthese elements cannot be considered to pose a real threat to the security of the regime.In fact the FIGL has been greatly weakened in the past two years. Two of the movementsmain leaders, Abu Munder al-Saidi and Abdullah Sadeq were captured in the Far East wherethey had fled after the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The two men were returned to Libyain 2004 and there has been no information as to their fate since. In October 2005 theorganisation received another blow when the British authorities arrested five Libyanssuspected of membership of the FIGL that the British like the Americans designated as aterrorist organisation. In December 2005 the British authorities charged three of the men withterrorist related support activities. In October 2005 the British government also signed anagreement with Libya making provision for the men to be returned to Libya if convicted.Counter-terrorism TOPPreventionGhadaffi has repeatedly cited the threat of terrorism as a key area of concern. Indeed Libyaissued a warning about Osama Bin Ladin as early as 1995 and since the 11 September attacksthe Libyan leader has spoken publicly about the dangers of terrorism on many occasions. In2004 Libyan Public Security Secretary announced that Libya had arrested a number ofsuspects from Asia who were trying to enter the country and who it asserted had culturallinks to Bin Ladin. However, this information was not publicly confirmed.Whilst Ghadaffi is anxious about the possibility of Libya becoming a target for internationalterrorists especially in light of its recent rapprochement with the US, the Libyan leaders mainworry continues to be domestic unrest, particularly that of an Islamist nature. In order tocounter the possibility of domestic terrorism or a rerun of the events of the mid 1990s, theregime has adopted a zero-tolerance approach. It has brutally suppressed its Islamistopposition regardless of whether it is violent in nature and regularly monitors those itsuspects of having Islamist tendencies. It has also taken steps to increase its internal securityapparatus to secure against potential dissent but has couched these moves in terms of counter-terrorism measures. For example in 2004 Ghadaffi awarded the police military powers inorder for them to be able to tackle terrorism and also increased the number of securitypersonnel.Revolutionary Guards CorpsA force of about 3,000 trained personnel with access to a variety of weapons, including mainbattle tanks, armoured personnel carriers and helicopters. Some units are also reported tohave anti-aircraft artillery and guided weapons in their inventories. These units are linked tothe Revolutionary Committees Movement and their main duty is to protect the Leader and hisfamily.Jamahiriya Security OrganisationHayat Ann al Jamahiriya is Libyas intelligence/security service. It is divided into two mainwings, one dealing with domestic security and the other with foreign intelligence gatheringand operations. The latter is sometimes known as the Secretariat of External Security (SES)This page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  3. 3. and has been involved in operations outside the country aimed at liquidating opponents of theregime. About 200 agents are thought to be active.Proliferation and Procurement TOP· Libyas military procurement programmes were hit hard by the imposition of sanctions. Its ageing stocks of Soviet-era equipment are now in desperate need of replacing or updating. Tripoli is looking to the West to help with this.· Libya had an extensive illegal procurement network linked to A Q Khan to facilitate its WMD aspirations. This network has been disbanded following Libyas decision to abandon its WMD programme.State legal TOPDuring the Cold War Libya relied heavily on arms supplies from Russia and other Sovietstates, although it also looked to France and Italy. However as a result of the long periodunder which Libya was subject to international sanctions combined with the end of the ColdWar, its military equipment became downgraded and is currently thought to be limited and invery poor condition.In light of the countrys rehabilitation, the regime is now looking to upgrade its capabilitiesand equipment. It has sought to buy from European countries, including the UK and France.In February 2005 French Defence Minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, travelled to Libya whereshe signed a letter of intent with Tripoli on military co-operation and procurement. Inaddition in 2005 Libya attended the major arms fair that was held in London.State illegal TOPIn December 2003 Libya announced it would abandon its weapons of mass destruction(WMD) programs and open the country to immediate and comprehensive verificationinspections. This move brought to light details about Libyas proliferation programmes thathad long been the subject of international speculation.In terms of nuclear proliferation it became clear that in 1997 Libya acquired 20 pre-assembled P-1 centrifuges and the components for another 200. It was also in the process ofconstructing three enrichment cascades. In 2000, Libya placed an order for 10,000centrifuges of a more advanced design. Libyas involvement in the A Q Khan network alsocame to light and the Pakistani scientist is reported to have supplied Libya with a nuclearweapons design. This design was handed to the IAEA following the December 2003announcement.Libya was also engaged in trying to develop its chemical weapons programme and admittedthat it had produced around 23 tons of mustard gas agent in the Rabta facility during the1980s.However, under the terms of the agreement, Libya agreed to dismantle these programmes andto eliminate all ballistic missiles with a range of 300 kilometres and a payload of 500This page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  4. 4. kilograms or greater. From 2004 US officials began airlifting components of the nuclear andballistic missiles programmes out of the country and in March 2004 over 1,000 tons ofcentrifuge parts and missile parts were shipped to the US. Libyas chemical components werealso destroyed. In addition Russia removed 13 kg of enriched uranium that it had supplied inthe 1980s to the reactor at Tajura.In light of the December 2003 announcement illegal proliferation and procurement is nolonger considered to be an issue.Organised Crime TOP· Human trafficking is considered to be the most pressing organized crime issue in Libya. It is a transit country for migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa into Europe.· Drugs and consumer goods trafficking are also prevalent.· Despite the government introducing legislation to deal with some of these issues, it appears to have made few inroads into the problem.Trafficking TOPHumanHuman trafficking is a major problem in Libya primarily as a result of its proximity toEurope. It is a transit and a destination country for men, women, and children trafficked fromAfrica and Asia for the purposes of sexual and labour exploitation. In a speech in March 2005Ghadaffi noted that Libya is threatened by international challenges that include trafficking inhumans - particularly women and children. Articles 415 and 420 of the penal codecriminalise prostitution and prostitution-related activities, including sexual trafficking. Thestate has arrested some of those involved, but there is little information on exactly what stepsthe regime has taken and how effective they have been. There have been suggestions thathigh-ranking officials are involved in some of these trafficking networks.Those who have been trafficked that are caught are punished, generally throughimprisonment or deportation. However, Libya has begun working with foreign governmentsto tackle the problem. In 2003, Italy and Libya signed a bilateral agreement to patrol theirwaters jointly to try to prevent human trafficking. In February 2004, Libya extradited anEritrean trafficker to Italy after Rome issued her arrest warrant. DrugsDue to its geographical location, Libya has problems with transit trafficking, particularly fordrugs destined for Egypt. It is also believed that some heroin is trafficked into Tunisiathrough Libya.According to Libyan officials, although the country does not produce drugs, drugs traffickingincreased substantially in Libya from the end of the 1980s onwards and remains a seriousproblem and drug use has also increased as a result. The country has introduced tough anti-This page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  5. 5. drug laws to limit trafficking but these appear to have limited effect.Consumer goodsSmuggling of consumer goods is rife in Libya. Clothes and foodstuffs in particular aresmuggled across the borders primarily to Tunisia and Egypt. In addition sub-standard goodsare smuggled into the country and sold cheaply. There is also a major problem with peoplesmuggling foods and basic goods that have been subsidised by the government and sellingthem abroad. However, the regime is currently working to cut subsidies, partly in order tolimit this illegal trade.Many Libyans are motivated to export goods illegally by the complexities and bureaucraticdelays associated with formal import and export procedures.Financial TOPTax/duty evasionTax evasion is a common problem in Libya and the tax system is subject to widespreadcorruption and bribery. The regime is reported to be considering introducing a special policeforce in order to deal with tax evasion.Money launderingIn 2005 Libya introduced Law no. 2 to combat money laundering making it a crimepunishable by imprisonment and fines. The extent of the problem however is not known.Front companiesIt has been alleged that Libya was using front companies to finance and provide cover for irsacquisitions from the A Q Khan network.Counterfeiting TOPDocumentsDocument forgery is prevalent in Libya and is relatively easy to do due to the inefficientnature of the bureaucracy and the rampant corruption. Counterfeited documents includepassports, ID cards and education certificates. There are reported to be groups of individualsbehind this racket.CurrencyThe Libyan dinar has been subject to counterfeiting especially in recent years. This forced thegovernment in 2003 to change the bank notes to higher denominations.Countermeasures TOPThe state has introduced a number of laws in order to deal with organised crime, such as theanti-money laundering law described above. It has also brought in anti-drugs legislation. Inaddition Libya has also acceded to the United Nations Convention on TransnationalThis page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  6. 6. Organized crime.As for human trafficking, in 2004 the Libyan government began engaging with othercountries to combat the problem. In June 2004, the Libyan Government organized a regionalconference where affected countries discussed, among other concerns, trafficking issues.However, the regime has drawn criticism for its treatment of the victims of trafficking that itgenerally deports back across the borders or to their country of origin. Furthermore, adelegation of a group of MEPs that visited Libya towards the end of 2005 discovered that theauthorities were doing little to police the countrys coastline and as a result boats of illegalimmigrants including trafficking victims were able to cross to Europe largely unhindered.State Stability TOP· Despite increased frustration among the Libyan population, there is no real challenge to the security of the regime.· Succession is an issue of discussion and many believe Saif al-Islam, Ghadaffis son, will one day take over, although this is by no means certain.· Although the country is facing serious socio-economic challenges, the continued influx of oil and gas revenues enables the regime to maintain control and manage the potential for unrest.· The most pressing issue for the regime is how far to implement reforms that will satisfy western government without losing power.· Despite the regimes repeated assertions about the need to encourage private sector activity it has done little to promote this and continues to rely on revenue that comes directly into the state purse.Political stability TOPHaving secured its rapprochement with the Western powers in 2003-04, Libyas ostensiblymonolithic regime faces a more uncertain future internally as the economy struggles torecover from a decade of crisis and society opens up to external influences. The mainquestion facing the regime is how far to go down the path of reform in order to secure betterrelations with the West, while ensuring domestic stability. There is thus a struggle beingplayed out within the regime on this issue between those of a more reformist inclination andthe regime hardliners, who fear change.The former include the current Secretary of the General Peoples Committee (GPC), ShukriGhanem (often referred to as Libyas Prime Minister), Foreign Minister Abd el-RahmanShalgam and Ghadaffis son Saif el-Islam, who subscribe to the idea that Libya has to openup somewhat if it is to take its place in the globalised environment. The latter group consistsprimarily of Revolutionary Committee members - including Deputy Secretary of the GPCAhmed Ibrahim, and Secretary for Public Security Nasser el-Mabrouk - who are deeplysuspicious of reform and fear that such change may leave them sidelined. Ghadaffimeanwhile is skilfully playing one side off against the other, using both sides to hisadvantage as he navigates his way in the new environment. However, it appears that now thatforeign business is once again bringing money into the state purse, Ghadaffi is currently lessinclined to implement genuine reforms.This page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  7. 7. GovernanceHaving seized power in 1969 at the age of 27, Muammar Ghadaffi is still not an old man and,short of an assassination, there is no reason to believe that he will cease to lead the countryand its esoteric revolution in the near future. Assuming that oil revenues will continue to flowinto the coffers of the state and that some sections of the economy can be opened up, there islittle reason to believe that internal pressures will force Ghadaffi to make more than tokenpolitical concessions.SuccessionAfter 36 years of charismatic personal leadership, there is much preoccupation over the issueof succession in Libya and there are suggestions that Ghadaffi is preparing his eldest son byhis second wife, Saif el-Islam, to succeed him. Despite repeated denials that he is earmarkedas heir, Saif al-Islam has succeeded in consolidating his position in Libyas political andeconomic life. Ghadaffis other children are also playing an increasingly active role.Mohammed controls the telecommunications sector and Olympic committee, Saadi controlsLibyan football and Hannibal the marine transportation industry. Others have importantpositions within the armed forces, despite their youthfulness. However, it is currently Saif el-Islam who has the ear of his father and is playing the most significant role.Despite Saif al-Islams closeness to his father however, his ability to retain control should hetake over remains doubtful. He has limited influence within the security services and is notconsidered to be as charismatic or as shrewd as his father. He is also extremely unpopularwith large sections of the population despite his recent attempts to engage with them directlyand to convince them that he is serious about reform.MilitaryAside from an attempted coup in 1993 by a group of army officers from the Werfella tribe inBani Walid which the regime put down swiftly, the armed forces have not represented anychallenge to the regime. Ghadaffi is acutely aware that he came to power through a militarycoup and as such is astute enough to ensure something similar will not unseat him. Heregularly engages in purges of the armed forces and has been able to assure loyalty.EconomicAs 95 per cent of the Libyan economy is reliant on energy income, economic stability isrelated to oil price fluctuations. During the 1990s, aside from the fact that the country wasunder sanctions, the economy suffered as a result of falling oil prices. Whilst the regime isaware of this problem, it has taken few genuine steps to remedy the problem. However, therecontinues to be a steady stream of oil and gas revenue coming into the public purse and inthis respect there is economic stability.SocietalDespite the widespread frustration of much of the population that continues to suffer socio-economic hardship, the regime remains firmly in control. Due to the fact that Ghadaffi hasprevented any opposition movement, genuine civil society or alternative power base fromeven being set up and has a multi layered security apparatus Libyans have limited room to beThis page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  8. 8. able to organise any sort of opposition or protest that might upset the status quo.However, the gap between the regime and the population continues to widen with large partsof Libyan society displaying an increasing religiosity that may be interpreted as a form ofpassive resistance. Whilst there have been a number of small scale outbreaks of spontaneousunrest in recent years linked largely to issues such as the non-payment of salaries, the securityservices have no problem in containing the disruption.CorruptionCorruption is widespread throughout every layer of Libyan society. Muammar Ghadaffidepends heavily on the loyalty of his inner circle in both the military and government and hasaccess to the intelligence and sanctions of an effective security network as well as the lavishrewards of state patronage.Moreover key regime figures and increasingly their offspring are all benefiting from therewards and opportunities that Libyas opening up has brought. This is fuelling resentmentamong the population that is seeing little of the benefits of Libyas new openness.Social stability TOPGhadaffi is facing numerous problems at home as the population becomes increasinglyfrustrated by ongoing socio-economic problems. These include an unemployment rate of 30per cent and the burden of a state sector that employs 700,000 people, around 13 per cent ofLibyas population. State sector wages have not increased since the early 1980s and as pricescontinue to rise the population is becoming increasingly restless as they are forced to take onadditional jobs or find alternative ways of making money. In the past, Ghadaffi was able toblame Libyas economic woes on the UN sanctions and the US. However, this excuse is nolonger valid and the regime has to find a way to manage the potential for increased socialunrest. It has tended to do so by increasing security measures. It is also relying on itsfavoured technique of buying off certain sections of the population in return for loyalty -something that has been made easier since the lifting of sanctions and subsequently renewedincome flows.CrimeCrime rates are thought to be relatively low in Libya although its is reported that there aregrowing problems of theft and muggings. Violent crime however is not common. There is aperception among the Libyan population that the influx of immigrants especially from Sub-Saharan Africa in recent years has brought increased crime levels.DrugsAccording to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime no significant illicit drug production hasbeen reported in Libya. Drug abuse meanwhile is an increasing issue of concern in Libya,especially among youths in urban areas. Heroin in particular is a problem.HealthInternational sanctions and economic mismanagement gradually eroded Libyas health sectorduring the 1990s and whilst the government is currently taking steps to improve the situation,This page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  9. 9. health care provision remains woefully inadequate. Health services are particularly poor inthe east of the country that has traditionally been starved of resources and infrastructure as apunishment for its rebellious nature. Those who can afford to go abroad for treatment, manyto Tunisia or to Europe. Indeed, important figures within the regime generally travel toEuropean countries for health care, with the local Embassy usually expected to foot the bill.Health training is also extremely inadequate and medical students regularly complain thatthey do not have sufficient equipment in order to undertake their studies properly. As a resultsome Libyans say they prefer to go to foreign doctors or dentists working in Libya.Another problem within the health sector is that the wages of those working in the statesector, like all state sector wages, have not increased since the 1980s. As a result mostmedical staff who work in public hospitals also work in private clinics where most of theirattention is focused. Moreover there have been some doubts as to the quality of a number ofthese private facilities.DemographyLike all of the states of North Africa, Libya suffered from significant demographic pressuresduring the 1980s and 1990s and as a result large numbers of the population are under the ageof 18. Although rates are now slowing the regime is struggling to meet the employmentdemands of the youth population.EnvironmentLibyas main environmental problem is desertification. It also has very limited natural freshwater resources.Human rightsThe Libyan regime is authoritarian in nature and human rights abuses are widespread.Anyone suspected of being involved in or sympathising with opposition or unauthorizedpolitical activities is subject to severe retribution. Even belonging to an outlawed organisationremains punishable by death and anyone who dares to publicly criticise the regime or theJamahiriyah system is liable to arrest and imprisonment. Torture is thought to becommonplace. As part of its new opening to the West following the decision to abandonWMD in December 2003 and its attempt to prove to the international community that it ischanging its attitude to human rights, the regime allowed Amnesty International to visit thecountry for the first time in over a decade in February 2004. However, when Amnestylaunched its highly critical report after the visit the regime accused the organisation of beingpoliticised and threatened to sue it.Social divisionGhadaffi continues to play Libyas tribal system to his advantage. Three major tribes areimportant - the Ghadhafa (Ghadaffis clan), the Magharfa (supporters of the marginalisedformer deputy leader Major Abd el-Salam Jalloud) and the Warfella (accused of supportingthe October 1993 coup attempt) - from which Ghadaffi has traditionally drawn many of hissecurity personnel. Other tribes include the Barassa and Ubaydah tribes implicated inresistance in the east.This page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  10. 10. More widely Libya remains divided by region. The three main areas - Tripolitania, Benghaziand the Fezzan - retain highly separate identities not least because of the large uninhabitedareas that separate the regions. Some analysts have suggested that should the Ghadaffi regimecollapse, the three areas would separate. This is likely to be overplayed, as the country hasdeveloped a sense of national identity over the past three decades. However, these divisionsremain acutely felt by the population.There is also a growing social division between the rich and poor. The new class ofentrepreneurs that has been able to take advantage of Libyas opening up to the internationalcommunity has been able to amass vast sums of wealth. However, these individuals aregenerally linked closely to the regime or are part of the informal power network thatsurrounds Ghadaffi, provoking increased resentment among the wider population.Arms prevalenceThe large numbers of security personnel including the Peoples militias that were set up toencourage the population to police each other has meant that there are significant numbers ofweapons in circulation. However, the nature of the regime is such that there is unlikely to beany unauthorised group that could access arms or ammunition freely.One major problem however is the fact that the sons of important figures within the regimeappear to have access to arms and as a result are able to threaten other citizens and engage inlow level violence. The police and security services are unwilling to intervene in suchsituations because they are afraid of the connections of those involved.Economy TOPBlack economyLibya has a thriving parallel economy. This was in fact encouraged by the regime during theperiod that Libya was under sanctions as a means of easing some of the pressures on thepopulation. However, as part of its rehabilitation the regime has made some efforts to limitthe black economy. In 2002 for example the government devalued its official dinar exchangerate to bring it more in line with the unofficial one which has helped reduce illegal moneyexchange. However, there continues to be significant illegal economic activity.Single source relianceThe oil-dependent economy has allowed what is, by North African standards, a high level ofincome per capita. However, this reliance on one commodity leaves the economy highlyresponsive to world fuel prices. Economic hardships during the oil price slump of 1997-98seriously affected government stability and the threat of economic collapse led to cuts inpublic spending. Failure to release reliable economic data has meant that Libyas economicperformance can only be guessed at but it is believed that the economy has grown at a lowlevel since 1999 due to rising oil prices after the prior slump. Even so, GDP growth in 2004and 2005 is predicted at just 5 per cent per year.In recent years Ghadaffi has repeatedly stressed the need for Libya to diversify away from itsreliance on energy and to develop a private sector - something that was banned after he cameto power in the interests of pan-Arab socialism. However, despite the talk there has been littleThis page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  11. 11. action to try to remedy the problem and private sector activity remains extremely limited.Financial collapseLibya has significant income from oil and gas and as such there is no risk of financialcollapse. Libyas production of high quality low sulphur content oil suggests that there will bea market so long as Libya has reserves, which is expected to be for at least a number ofdecades.LabourUnemployment remains a major issue and it is estimated that around 30 per cent of thepopulation is unemployed. This problem is particularly acute among the young, many ofwhom have drifted into the cities in search of work. The prospect of large numbers ofdisaffected unemployed young men is a concern that Ghadaffi has expressed. However, thereis little evidence that the regime is doing anything serious to tackle the problem.The other pressing issue for the regime is the bloated and inefficient public sector. Statesector wages have been frozen since the 1980s and as a result public sector pay is not enoughto live on. Most people take on additional jobs in the private sector in order to survive.Moreover due to bureaucratic delays people often do not receive their salaries for months onend.Threat response TOPDefence postureDespite its small population and available manpower, Libya has attempted to maintain armedforces of comparable strength to its much larger neighbour Algeria. The capability of theseforces has been largely untested since the late 1980s but is understood to have deterioratedsignificantly from an already low level. The view in the West is that Ghadaffis disastrous1977-87 military operations in Chad, the militarys only real experience of sustainedconventional combat, proved how ineffective the armed forces are. The military was furtherdisabled by purges of the senior ranks that followed a coup attempt against Ghadaffi in 1993.Such conventional weakness doubtless spurred Libya in its pursuit of unconventional andstrategic weapons systems in the 1990s.International Relations TOP· Libyan foreign policy has gone through a number of phases encompassing pan-Arabism, support to international terrorist groups and more lately, pan-Africanism.· Libyas relations with the West are now on the mend following Tripolis admission of responsibility for a series of terrorist atrocities in during the 1980s. All sanctions on the country have now been lifted.· Libya remains on the US Sponsors of State Terrorism list, although it is working to remove itself from this.· Foreign affairs are now dominated by Europes concerns over illegal immigration and Ghadaffis desire to be seen as the leader of Africa.This page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  12. 12. Ghadaffi came to power in 1969 on a platform of anti-imperialism and Arab nationalism andLibyas foreign policy has been based upon these concepts ever since. As a result, Libya hashad problematic relations with many Western states over the years. Ghadaffis adventuristpolicies have resulted in his being accused of supporting international terrorism and in Libyabeing isolated for much of the past two decades. However, since 2001, Libya has worked toresolve many of its outstanding issues with the West, notably the 1988 Lockerbie bombing,the 1989 attack on a French UTA airliner and the La Belle disco bombing in Berlin in 1986.Currently the major obstacles to Libya enjoying full relations with the West are the cases ofthe Bulgarian nurses sentenced to death for allegedly infecting 400 Libyan children with HIVand the alleged Libyan plot to assassinate Crown Prince (now King) Abdullah II of SaudiArabia. Both cases are thought to be on the road to resolution.Bilateral TOPUnited StatesLibyan rapprochement with the US began following the events of 11 September 2001, as theLibyan regime seized the opportunity of its common opposition to political Islam and jihadimovements to lobby for a strategic realignment. From 2002, this alignment of interestsincreasingly coincided with Ghadaffis disillusionment with his African projects and hisrejection of the Arab League over its failure to mediate growing crises in Palestine and Iraq.US rhetoric continued to denounce Ghadaffi, albeit linking him to proliferation rather thanterrorism issues. It appears that secret trilateral talks to end Libyas unconventional weaponsprogramme and bring it back into the fold appear to have begun on a British initiative inMarch 2003. On 19 December 2003, British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that Libyahad decided to dismantle its WMD programme. Libya ratified the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty inJanuary 2004 and joined the Chemical Weapons Convention in February 2004.The repeal of the main part of the economic embargo - on US investment in Libyan oil andfinancial sectors - in late April 2004 opened up possibilities for new investment in Libya byUS oil and gas companies. This followed the late February 2004 announcement that the USwas lifting a 23-year old ban on travel to Libya by US citizens, which was clearly intended toaid companies wishing to do business with Tripoli. Libya is an attractive proposition for UScorporations as the country is not wracked by war or civil disturbance and much of Libya hasnot yet been parcelled out for resource exploration, thus offering the possibility of majorlong-term increases in returns on investment. In September 2004, the Bush administrationannounced that it had ended the National Emergency that had been declared under PresidentReagan in 1986. The US also formally revoked all remaining trade sanctions, lifted theremaining economic restrictions on aviation services, permitted direct flights between the twocountries and unblocked approximately USD1.3 billion in assets that were frozen under theLibya Sanctions Programme.Libyas remaining aim is to get itself removed from the US state sponsors of internationalterrorism list so that it can undertake the modernisation of its defence and transport sectorsThis page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  13. 13. and acquire the necessary technical competence to overhaul its energy sector.ItalyAs the colonial power in Libya between 1911 and 1943, and, together with Greece and Malta,the nearest EU neighbour to Libya, Italy has long taken an active diplomatic and commercialinterest in Libyan affairs. Italy is the principal customer for Libyan oil and gas, buying over40 per cent of Libyan crude and drastically increasing its gas supplies for the future. Libyahas at various times also posed a threat to Italy. With the US Mediterranean fleet based nearNaples, Libya attempted to launch a missile attack on the Italian island of Pantellaria in 1986and could easily reach mainland Italy with its ballistic missile programme. However thecurrent threat is seen to arise more from the flow of African immigrants sailing from Libya toItaly, and both states have an interest in countering this. In December 1999, Italian PrimeMinister Massimo DAlema became the first Western head of government to visit Tripoli andmeet the Libyan leader since UN sanctions were imposed. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconihas made four visits to Libya since 2002, including in February, August and October 2004.Multilateral/Regional TOPAlignment/AlliancesAfrican UnionAlthough Ghadaffi originally saw Libya as an integral part of the Arab world, the other Arabstates did little to help lift the sanctions imposed on Libya during the 1990s. Ghadafficonsequently eschewed the Arab world in favour of closer relations with other African states.The culmination of this policy was the founding of the African Union in mid-2002. Based onthe EU, this body superseded the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) and aimed to unifythe continents economic and security policies. In Ghadaffis anti-imperialist vision, the AUshould go further and engender a unified continental polity and a single African army,preferably based in Libya. While not strictly a Ghadaffi initiative, the AU relied on theLibyan leaders determination and financial support to become a reality.Ghadaffi has gone on to position himself as one of the principal statesmen of Africa -certainly the leading Arab proponent of pan-Africanism - and is frequently consulted bymany other African leaders. While he has used this prestige to broker peace agreements forsome of the continents civil wars, there have all too often been allegations that his regimehad a hand in spurring on such conflicts in order to broker a settlement dependent on orfavourable to Tripoli.Arab LeagueAlthough probably on cordial terms with many Arab leaders, it no longer appears thatGhadaffi believes in the pan-Arab cause and his boycotting of Arab League summits suggestshe has little faith in the organisations ability to make a difference. In May 2004, he staged aThis page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?
  14. 14. melodramatic walk out of the Arab League summit in Tunis, condemning it as worthless, yetdespite asserting in September 2004 that the Arab League was "finished", Ghadaffi is likelyto maintain a presence within the organisation as it is too important to withdraw fromcompletely.European UnionLibya has yet to join the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (also known as the BarcelonaProcess). European and Mediterranean foreign ministers had promised Libya in April 1999that it would be given full membership of this co-operation programme for southernMediterranean states once all UN sanctions were lifted. This ambitious EU initiative isdesigned to strengthen ties between EU members and southern Mediterranean countries andaims to create a free trade zone throughout the Mediterranean region by 2010. Libyanrepresentatives attended some meetings of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership as observersbefore then. Full Libyan membership is dependent on written guarantees pledging to upholdhuman rights, democracy, regional stability and free trade.Libya is being strongly encouraged to co-operate with European governments in stemmingthe flow of illegal migrants from Africa to the EU. It has signed a bilateral agreement withItaly to this effect and is likely to work more closely with the EU on this in the future.Relaxation of the arms embargo in September 2004 was specifically designed to allow Libyato upgrade its coast guard and border surveillance capabilities to impede the flow of migrantsto the EU.Arab Maghreb Union (AMU)The AMU (Union du Maghreb Arabe) was formed in Marrakech by the five NorthwestAfrican states (Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia) in February 1989 during arare period of rapprochement between regional rivals Algeria and Morocco. Its original intentwas to promote political unity and an economic common position from which to approach theconsolidating states of the European Community/Union. However, the increasing isolation ofthe Libyan leadership and the re-emergence of antagonism between Algeria and Moroccoover the Western Sahara effectively froze the fledgling institutions from 1995.Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD)Representatives from eight Sahelian and Saharan African states met in Algiers in August1995 to formulate a common policy to improve economic co-operation and improve securityin the region. Apart from Libya, delegates also came from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad,Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. This Community of Sahel-Saharan States(known as CEN-SAD) was subsequently founded by Libya, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chadand Sudan. It has since expanded to take in most states of North Africa (excluding Algeriaand Mauritania) and Muslim West Africa (Benin, The Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo)as well as the Horn (Djibouti, Eritrea and Somalia) and the CAR. NEW ENTRY2006 Janes Information GroupThis page was saved from Did you know Janes Strategic Advisory Services can provide impartial, thoroughly researched market evaluation, providing© Janes Information Group, All rights reserved you with the same reliable insight you expect to find in our publications and online services?