The recent revolution in Tunis started a precedent through much of the Arab world, with the uprising in Egypt, protests in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, Iran, Algeria and Morocco, among others. However, when protests started in Libya on 17 February 2011, the situation evolved very differently, with severe military reprisals against the public and the anti-government protests. As a result, Libya is currently experiencing an unprecedented level of upheaval and violence.
Extensive military attacks, with aerial bombing and regular use of live ammunition against the civilian population, have caused myriad casualties, leaving many dead and even more injured. Increasing numbers of military and police personnel have defectedfrom the government forces. While much of the country has fallen to the opposition, Tripoli remains under government control, with fierce fighting and blockades stopping all movement either into or out of the city.
According to several speeches made by both the Libyan leader and his son, the country is heading towards a civil war, thus hinting at increasingly violent action to maintain control of the country. The effect would likely be a further deterioration of the security situation with serious implications on the humanitarian and food security situations with resonating effects in Libya as well as neighbouring countries.
The first reports of food shortages in Libya are now surfacing, most probably due to the inability to import food and the disruption of transport routes. Duration of assistance: 2 March – 2 June 2011 (three months)