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Supporting Libyan-led efforts to build an inclusive and accountable government by encouraging dialogue, amplifying citizens’ voices, and increasing participation in new democratic processes.
In February 2011, the regime of Muammar Qadhafi met popular protests in eastern Libya with bruIn February 2011, the regime of Muammar Qadhafi responded to protests in eastern Libya with brutal violence, which led to a popular revolution that brought his 42-year reign to an end. On July 7, 2012, just eight months after Qadhafi’s fall, Libya held its first national elections in a half century for a General National Congress (GNC) that oversaw the selection of a government and will guide the nation through the development of a new constitution. Despite these historic accomplishments, ongoing local conflicts and incidences of targeted violence, including militants storming the U.S. compound in Benghazi, have shown that the fate of Libya’s transition is far from certain.
While an impatient populace expresses frustration with stubborn militias, lingering inter- and intra-communal tensions, and sluggish political processes, the security situation is increasingly unclear and is likely to dominate the attention of the new government in Tripoli. Amid the uncertainty, however, new political freedoms have ushered in emerging civil society organizations and independent media outlets which are working to promote and sustain the spirit of change, peace, and reconciliation in Libya.
USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI) launched the Libya Transition Initiative (LTI) in June 2011 to support Libyan efforts to build an inclusive and peaceful democratic future that reflects the will and needs of the Libyan people.
Specifically, USAID/OTI partners with civil society organizations, local media outlets, and interim governing authorities to:
- Promote inclusive transitional political and justice processes;
- Reinforce national reconciliation and identity; and
- Improve government legitimacy and address other community grievances.
In each of these areas, USAID/OTI has identified an urgent need to ensure the voices of everyday citizens, especially women, youth, and minorities, are amplified so all Libyans can participate in the country’s historic transition to democracy. As examples, USAID/OTI has implemented the following types of activities:
Public outreach campaigns to keep citizens informed about and engaged in the transition process;
- Projects that help emerging independent media outlets improve the quality of information and advance the capacity of the media sector to serve as a conduit for public exchange;
- Workshops that facilitate dialogue between Libyan citizens, governmental bodies, and international experts to help develop participatory processes for government formation;
- Dialogues that bring together community leaders from around the country to develop shared strategies to mitigate conflict and promote reconciliation.
As the political process continues to evolve, USAID/OTI’s rapid response ability will be well suited to meet additional unforeseen needs that may emerge.
Last updated: May 17, 2013
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