13 Lesser-Known Libya Facts 

13 Lesser-Known Libya Facts  - Africa - News

13 Lesser-Known Libya Facts 

Interesting Facts About Libya

Libya, one of Africa’s wealthiest countries due to its natural resources such as crude oil, has faced political instability, rebel wars, and Western interference. Let’s explore some lesser-known facts about this North African nation:

1. Libya Voted Against International Criminal Court

In 1998, the International Criminal Court (ICC) was adopted by a vote of 120 to 7. Libya was one of the seven countries that voted against this policy. The others included the United States, Qatar, China, and Iraq.

2. Gaddafi’s Favorite Car

Even though Muammar Gaddafi owned a fleet of vehicles, his favorite was a Fiat 500. It is estimated to cost £175,000 and run on electricity instead of petrol. This car was seized by Libyan rebels in 2011 in Bab al-Azizia.

3. Chris Jeon’s Journey to Libya

In 2011, a 21-year-old Chris Jeon visited Libya so he could fight with the rebels. Jeon was a Chinese UCLA math student at the time and was on summer break. He bought a one-way ticket to Cairo, Egypt before embarking on his journey.

4. Historical Stance on Same-Sex Activity

In 1953, Libya adopted a penal code that criminalizes same-sex activity. Such acts are considered indecent and carry a punishment of up to five years imprisonment. This law applies to both men and women.

5. Female Protectors of Gaddafi

Known as Revolutionary Nuns, the elite female bodyguards were tasked with protecting Libya’s then-president Muammar Gaddafi. Estimates show more than 400 women were recruited as these protective forces, also serving as the leader’s housekeepers.

6. Gaddafi’s Involvement in the Lockerbie Bombing

In 2011, the former justice minister of Libya told a Swedish newspaper that Gaddafi was responsible for bombing a Libyan plane in 1988. The Lockerbie bombing claimed 270 lives, whose families were compensated by the Libyan government. Gaddafi blamed Western governments for this incident.

7. The Gunmen Attack on Libyan Embassy

During a protest outside the Libyan Embassy in London in 1984, two gunmen opened fire on unknowing protesters from inside the building using Sterling submachine guns. An English policewoman was shot and killed, and 11 other protesters were wounded.

8. Revival of Combat Sports

In 1979, boxing, wrestling, and other combat sports were banned in Libya. At the time, the country’s president considered these sports to be too violent. However, after his demise, locals started reviving them.

9. Libya’s Unique Flag

From 1977 to 2011, Libya used an all-green flag that represented Gaddafi’s political philosophy. During this period, Libya was the only country in the world with a plain colored flag.

10. Wealthiest Oil Reserve Country

From the most recent data, Libya is the wealthiest country in oil reserves in Africa, with 48.4 billion barrels of oil reserves. Nigeria ranks second with 36.9 billion barrels of oil.

11. Landscape and Agriculture

The majority of Libya’s landmass is either a desert or semi-desert, making the conditions unsuitable for agriculture. As a result, Libya imports 75% of its food from neighboring countries.

12. Libyan Tea Culture

As is the case with most Arabs, Libyans love their tea! They serve it from morning to evening. They prefer it thicker, almost like a masala chai.

13. Gaddafi’s Longest-Serving Leader

Muammar Gaddafi was and remains Libya’s longest-serving leader – he ruled from 1969 to 2011. After leading for 42 years, he is also one of the longest-serving African leaders.

14. Ethnic Composition

Libya is mainly an Islamic country, with at least 97% of the population being staunch followers of this religion. There are two main ethnic groups in Libya: the Berbers and the Arabs. This contributes to the overwhelming majority.

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