In Libya, the education follows a 9-3 system, where the
primary school lasts for 9 years and the secondary school
for 3 years. According to UNESCO, 10.5% of the population
over 15 years were illiterate in 2011 (4% of men; 17% of
In Libya, there is no formal distinction between children
and secondary school. In principle, the nine-year elementary
school is free and compulsory.
Higher education is offered at a number of vocational
schools, colleges and universities. The first Libyan
university was established in Benghazi in 1955. In
2010/2011, more than 340,000 students were registered in the
2002 Libya assumes responsibility for Lockerbie and UN
raises its sanctions
In early 2001, a Scottish court acquitted Libyan Al Amin
Khalifa Fhimah of taking part in the assault on the Pan Am
plane, which was blown into the air over Lockerbie in 1988.
The other accused, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, was sentenced to
life imprisonment. In January 2002, Tripoli tried to appeal
the verdict, but this was rejected, prompting Khaddafi to
accuse him of being under pressure from Washington and
London and not having sufficient evidence. In August,
however, Libya announced the UN Security Council that the
state assumed responsibility for the Lockerbie disaster,
giving Libya $ 2.7 billion. US $ for distribution among the
families of the dead - equivalent to DKK 1 million. US $ per
killed on board. This caused French dissatisfaction, as
compensation for France in a similar case the year before
had been significantly lower. In September, the UN Security
Council raised 13 votes for its sanctions against the
country. France and the United States abstained, and the
United States continued its own sanctions.
Despite opposition from the United States, in January
2003, Libya took over the chairmanship of the UN Commission
on Human Rights. In December, the government announced that
it was abandoning all weapons of mass destruction
In March 2004, Britain's Tony Blair traveled to Tripoli
to meet Khaddafi. He thus became the first British Prime
Minister in 60 years to visit Libya. In April, the United
States raised its sanctions against the country. The North
American oil industry played an important role in this.
Washington declared that North American companies could once
again do business in Libya after the country abandoned its
weapons of mass destruction program. The United States also
lifted its opposition to the accession of Libya to the WTO.
The superpower had imposed trade and economic sanctions on
Libya in 1986 after putting it on a list of countries
supporting terrorism. In June, the two countries resumed
diplomatic relations. The message was given by US Deputy
Foreign Minister William Burns during his trip to Tripoli,
where he met with Khaddafi and the Libyan government. The
United States had closed its embassy in the country in 1980
following attacks in Lebanon against two French missions.
In August, Libya agreed to pay $ 35 million. US $ in
compensation to the victims of the bomb attack against a
nightclub in Berlin in 1986. Germany received with
benevolence the compensation to the German and Turkish
victims of the attack, which cost 3 lives and 200 wounded.
In January, Tripoli had also entered into an agreement to
compensate the families of those killed following the bomb
attack on a French Saharan passenger plane in 1989.
In the first 40-year tender for oil and gas exploration,
completed in January 2005, the biggest winners were North
American companies. At the second invitation to tender in
October, it was Asian and European companies that ran most
In December, the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence
against the accused doctors who were made responsible for
the infection of Libyan children.
Denmark's anti-Muslim campaign that began with
Jutland Post drawings in the fall of 2005 led to
violent demonstrations in Libya in February 2006 that killed
at least 10 people.
The territories of Tripolitania, Kyrenaika and Fezzan
became independent as the United Kingdom of Libya on
December 24, 1951, and Muhammad al-Idris was, in accordance
with the new constitution, inaugurated as a monarch at a
ceremony in Benghazi, after returning from his close thirty
years of exile in Egypt.
Libya was, from independence, a federation of
Tripolitania, Kyrenaika and Fezzan. They each had their own
parliament and governing council, as well as their own state
administrations - in addition to the joint Libyan National
Assembly and the government. The country got two alternate
capitals, Tripoli and Benghazi, and three provincial
centers, Tripoli, Benghazi and Sebha. In 1963, this
structure was replaced by a united state - the Kingdom of
Libya - divided into ten provinces, with one central
government. The Libyan parliament consisted of a House of
Representatives in which seats were distributed among the
provinces according to census and a Senate with eight
members from each province; the king appointed half of the
After the first election, in 1952, the parties were wound
up, and later banned. Parliamentary representatives were
then appointed by the government, and tribal affiliation and
loyalty to the royal house became more important than
ideology and politics. Thus, the 1952 elections were the
first and only free elections in Libya before the uprising
in 2011, with the subsequent elections in 2012. The king's
power was considerable, and the form of government - as well
as Idris' personal reluctance to be head of state -
increased the influence of the court, which was dominated by
a tribal-anchored elite from Kyrenaika. After an attack on a
close associate in 1954, King Benghazi left and settled in
Tobruk, retiring even more from the public.
Libya had become an independent state through solutions
directed by the great powers, where their own interests
weighed heavily. Independence was not won through a
political struggle based on ideology or other unifying
ground. The federal structure invited opposition between the
three provinces. The king sought to develop a Libyan
national feeling associated with the monarchy as an
institution, but was himself from the Sanusi order and
Kyrenaika, and gathered only limited popular support.
Libya remained a poor and underdeveloped society for
several years, dependent on foreign financial and technical
assistance, especially from the UK and the US as well as the
UN. British and US aid was linked to the two countries'
leasing of military bases in Libya; it was not until the
1960s that oil exports became the main source of income.
Exploration for oil began in 1940, but was then prevented by
the war. After exploration in the mid-1950s, the first oil
was shipped in 1961; Libya joined the Organization of Oil
Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1962.
Libya was admitted as a member of the Arab League in
1953. During the liberation war in Algeria, Libyan territory
was used to carry weapons from Egypt and Turkey to the
resistance movement. At the same time, the Libyan government
rejected France's requests for bases in Fezzan. The
relationship with Italy was clarified in 1956, with
financial assistance and the return of Italian property.
Increasing opposition to foreign bases led to riots in 1964,
and Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser demanded assurances
that these would not be used for attacks against Arab states
in war with Israel.. Parliament agreed to terminate the base
agreements, which led to the king trying to abdicate. The
crisis was averted by the UK announcing its intention to
leave its bases in Tripolitania in 1966, retaining only a
minor force in Kyrenaika. Libya did not participate in the
Six Day War against Israel in 1967, but Israel's attacks on
its Arab neighbors led to riots in Tripoli and Benghazi,
where mobs also attacked Jewish and Jewish, as well as
American and British, property.
Oil revenues combined with the constitutional change that
made Libya a united state in 1963 enabled a comprehensive
plan, with increased public investment. Equally lacking was
social development, and distortions of rising state
revenues, among the causes of the military coup on September
1, 1969. Another was the king's Western-oriented policy in a
time of strong Arab nationalism. A third was the widespread
There was a group of younger, radical officers who seized
power in 1969. The coup makers were inspired by the free
officers of Egypt and their leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. The
Libyan officers did as their Egyptian role models: deposed
the king and abolished the monarchy, and Libya was made a
republic. A "revolutionary council" took over the country,
with Muammar al-Gaddafi as leader.
Gaddafi himself was deposed and killed during the Libya
war in 2011.