Forgotten World (128): Libya

The standing of Libya in the international community has been transformed in recent years. Once shunned by much of the world over the 1988 bombing of a PanAm plane above the Scottish town of Lockerbie, the country formally took responsibility for the incident in 2003. This move, part of a deal to compensate families of the 270 victims, heralded the lifting of UN sanctions. Months later, Libya renounced weapons of mass destruction, paving the way for a further blossoming of relations with the West.
Since the king was overthrown in a coup in 1969, Libya has been led by the idiosyncratic Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. He introduced a new political system called jamahiriya, loosely translated as a “state of the masses”, in which in theory power is held by various people’s committees, while in practice Gaddafi rules over 6.2 million unopposed.
The Libyan economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which constitute practically all export earnings and about one-quarter of gross domestic product. These oil revenues and a small population give Libya one of the highest GDPs per person in Africa and have allowed the Libyan state to provide an extensive and impressive level of social security, particularly in the fields of housing and education.


XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>