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Libya



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Introduction

Background: Since he took power in a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI has espoused his own political system - a combination of socialism and Islam - which he calls the Third International Theory. Viewing himself as a revolutionary leader, he used oil funds during the 1970s and 1980s to promote his ideology outside Libya, even supporting subversives and terrorists abroad to hasten the end of Marxism and capitalism. Libyan military adventures failed, e.g., the prolonged foray of Libyan troops into the Aozou Strip in northern Chad was finally repulsed in 1987. Libyan support for terrorism decreased after UN sanctions were imposed in 1992. Those sanctions were suspended in April 1999.

Geography

Location: Northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt and Tunisia

Geographic coordinates: 25 00 N, 17 00 E

Map references: Africa

Area
  total: 1,759,540 sq km
  land: 1,759,540 sq km
  water: 0 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly larger than Alaska

Land boundaries
  total: 4,383 km
  border countries: Algeria 982 km, Chad 1,055 km, Egypt 1,150 km, Niger 354 km, Sudan 383 km, Tunisia 459 km

Coastline: 1,770 km

Maritime claims
  territorial sea: 12 nm (Note: Gulf of Sidra closing line - 32 degrees 30 minutes north)

Climate: Mediterranean along coast; dry, extreme desert interior

Terrain: mostly barren, flat to undulating plains, plateaus, depressions

Elevation extremes
  lowest point: Sabkhat Ghuzayyil -47 m
  highest point: Bikku Bitti 2,267 m

Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, gypsum

Land use
  arable land: 1%
  permanent crops: 0%
  permanent pastures: 8%
  forests and woodland: 0%
  other: 91% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 4,700 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: hot, dry, dust-laden ghibli is a southern wind lasting one to four days in spring and fall; dust storms, sandstorms

Environment - current issues: desertification; very limited natural fresh water resources; the Great Manmade River Project, the largest water development scheme in the world, is being built to bring water from large aquifers under the Sahara to coastal cities

Environment - international agreements
  party to: Climate Change, Desertification, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection
  signed, but not ratified: Biodiversity, Law of the Sea

People

Population: 5,115,450 (Note: includes 162,669 non-nationals (July 2000 est.))

Age structure
  0-14 years: 36% (male 938,476; female 899,139)
  15-64 years: 60% (male 1,595,306; female 1,485,069)
  65 years and over: 4% (male 97,770; female 99,690) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.42% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 27.68 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 3.51 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.98 male(s)/female
  total population: 1.06 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 30.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 75.45 years
  male: 73.34 years
  female: 77.66 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 3.71 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality
  noun: Libyan(s)
  adjective: Libyan

Ethnic groups: Berber and Arab 97%, Greeks, Maltese, Italians, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians

Religions: Sunni Muslim 97%

Languages: Arabic, Italian, English, all are widely understood in the major cities

Literacy
  definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  total population: 76.2%
  male: 87.9%
  female: 63% (1995 est.)

Government

Country name
  conventional long form: Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
  conventional short form: Libya
  local long form: Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah
  local short form: none

Data code: LY

Government type: Jamahiriya (a state of the masses) in theory, governed by the populace through local councils; in fact, a military dictatorship

Capital: Tripoli

Administrative divisions: 25 municipalities (baladiyat, singular - baladiyah); Ajdabiya, Al 'Aziziyah, Al Fatih, Al Jabal al Akhdar, Al Jufrah, Al Khums, Al Kufrah, An Nuqat al Khams, Ash Shati', Awbari, Az Zawiyah, Banghazi, Darnah, Ghadamis, Gharyan, Misratah, Murzuq, Sabha, Sawfajjin, Surt, Tarabulus, Tarhunah, Tubruq, Yafran, Zlitan (Note: the 25 municipalities may have been replaced by 13 regions)

Independence: 24 December 1951 (from Italy)

National holiday: Revolution Day, 1 September (1969)

Constitution: 11 December 1969, amended 2 March 1977

Legal system: based on Italian civil law system and Islamic law; separate religious courts; no constitutional provision for judicial review of legislative acts; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch
  chief of state: Revolutionary Leader Col. Muammar Abu Minyar al-QADHAFI (since 1 September 1969); note - holds no official title, but is de facto chief of state
  head of government: Secretary of the General People's Committee (Premier) Mubarak al-SHAMEKH (since 2 March 2000)
  cabinet: General People's Committee established by the General People's Congress
  elections: national elections are indirect through a hierarchy of people's committees; head of government elected by the General People's Congress; election last held NA (next to be held NA)
  election results: Mubarak al-SHAMEKH elected head of government; percent of General People's Congress vote - NA

Legislative branch: unicameral General People's Congress (NA seats; members elected indirectly through a hierarchy of people's committees)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: none

Political pressure groups and leaders: various Arab nationalist movements with almost negligible memberships may be functioning clandestinely, as well as some Islamic elements

International organization participation: 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, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic representation in the US: Libya does not have an embassy in the US

Diplomatic representation from the US: the US suspended all embassy activities in Tripoli on 2 May 1980

Flag description: plain green; green is the traditional color of Islam (the state religion)

Economy

Economy - overview: The socialist-oriented economy depends primarily upon revenues from the oil sector, which contributes practically all export earnings and about one-quarter of GDP. These oil revenues and a small population give Libya one of the highest per capita GDPs in Africa, but little of this income flows down to the lower orders of society. In this statist society, import restrictions and inefficient resource allocations have led to periodic shortages of basic goods and foodstuffs. The nonoil manufacturing and construction sectors, which account for about 20% of GDP, have expanded from processing mostly agricultural products to include the production of petrochemicals, iron, steel, and aluminum. Climatic conditions and poor soils severely limit farm output, and Libya imports about 75% of its food requirements. Higher oil prices in 1999 led to an increase in export revenues and helped to stimulate the economy. Following the suspension of UN sanctions in 1999, Libya has been trying to increase its attractiveness to foreign investors, and several foreign companies have visited in search of contracts.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $39.3 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 2% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $7,900 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 7%
  industry: 47%
  services: 46% (1997 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 18% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 1.2 million (1997 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: services and government 54%, industry 29%, agriculture 17% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: 30% (1998 est.)

Budget
  revenues: $3.6 billion
  expenditures: $5.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1998 est.)

Industries: petroleum, food processing, textiles, handicrafts, cement

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity - production: 16.92 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 100%
  hydro: 0%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 15.736 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 0 kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: wheat, barley, olives, dates, citrus, vegetables, peanuts; beef, eggs

Exports: $6.6 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

Exports - commodities: crude oil, refined petroleum products, natural gas

Exports - partners: Italy 40%, Germany 17%, Spain 12%, France 4%, Sudan 4%, UK 3% (1997)

Imports: $7 billion (f.o.b., 1998 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery, transport equipment, food, manufactured goods

Imports - partners: Italy 23%, Germany 12%, UK 9%, France 7%, Tunisia 5%, Belgium 4% (1997)

Debt - external: $4 billion (1998 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $8.4 million (1995)

Currency: 1 Libyan dinar (LD) = 1,000 dirhams

Exchange rates: Libyan dinars (LD) per US$1 - 0.4687 (January 2000), 0.4616 (1999), 0.3785 (1998), 0.3891 (1997), 0.3651 (1996), 0.3532 (1995); official rate: 0.45 (December 1998)

Fiscal year: calendar year

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use: 318,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system: telecommunications system is being modernized; mobile cellular telephone system became operational in 1996
  domestic: microwave radio relay, coaxial cable, cellular, tropospheric scatter, and a domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations
  international: satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat, NA Arabsat, and NA Intersputnik; submarine cables to France and Italy; microwave radio relay to Tunisia and Egypt; tropospheric scatter to Greece; participant in Medarabtel (1999)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 17, FM 4, shortwave 3 (1998)

Radios: 1.35 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 12 (plus one low-power repeater) (1997)

Televisions: 730,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): NA

Transportation

Railways: (Note: Libya has had no railroad in operation since 1965, all previous systems having been dismantled; current plans are to construct a 1.435-m standard gauge line from the Tunisian frontier to Tripoli and Misratah, then inland to Sabha, center of a mineral-rich area, but there has been little progress; other plans made jointly with Egypt would establish a rail line from As Sallum, Egypt, to Tobruk with completion originally set for mid-1994; Libya signed contracts with Bahne of Egypt and Jez Sistemas Ferroviarios in 1998 for the supply of crossings and pointwork)

Highways
  total: 83,200 km
  paved: 47,590 km
  unpaved: 35,610 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: none

Pipelines: crude oil 4,383 km; petroleum products 443 km (includes liquefied petroleum gas or LPG 256 km); natural gas 1,947 km

Ports and harbors: Al Khums, Banghazi, Darnah, Marsa al Burayqah, Misratah, Ra's Lanuf, Tobruk, Tripoli, Zuwarah

Merchant marine
  total: 27 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 401,303 GRT/656,632 DWT
  ships by type: cargo 9, chemical tanker 1, liquified gas 3, petroleum tanker 6, roll-on/roll-off 4, short-sea passenger 4 (1999 est.)

Airports: 142 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 59
  over 3,047 m: 24
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 6
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 22
  914 to 1,523 m: 5
  under 914 m: 2

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 83
  over 3,047 m: 5
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
  914 to 1,523 m: 42
  under 914 m: 19 (1999 est.)

Military

Military branches: Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Command

Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 1,415,305 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 841,039 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually
  males: 62,200 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $NA

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: maritime boundary dispute with Tunisia; Libya claims about 19,400 sq km in northern Niger and part of southeastern Algeria

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