Libya , officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 km2, Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 17th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world.
Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age. The Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya, and Ancient Greek colonists established city-states in eastern Libya. Libya was variously ruled by Persians, Egyptians and Greek-Egyptians before becoming a part of the Roman Empire. Libya was an early center of Christianity. During the 7th Century, invasions brought Islam and Arab colonization. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish Empire and the Knights of St John occupied Tripoli, until Ottoman rule began in 1551. Libya was involved in the Barbary Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries. Ottoman rule continued until the twentieth-century Italian occupation of Libya and large-scale Italian immigration. Italian rule ended during the Second World War, during which Libya was an important area of warfare. The Italian population then went into decline. Libya became an independent kingdom in 1951. In 1969, a military coup overthrew King Idris I, beginning a period of improved living standards and brutal suppression of dissent. Within a year, the 20,000 remaining Italians and 37,000 Jews had been expelled. The most prominent coup conspirator, Muammar Gaddafi, was ultimately able to fully concentrate power in his own hands during the Libyan Cultural Revolution.
Muammar Gaddafi remained in power until the Libyan Revolution of 2011 overthrew his regime.Protests in Benghazi on 15 February 2011 led to clashes with security forces and ultimately escalated into an armed conflict. The United Nations Security Council authorized the use of force in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. The subsequent intervention by NATO and some Arab states ensured the fall of Gaddafi. Since then, Libya has experienced instability and political violence which has severely affected both commerce and oil production.
Libya is governed by two rival governments since August 2014, one in Tripoli and one in Tobruk. The Council of Deputies elected in the June 2014 elections was declared unconstitutional by the Libyan Supreme Court in November 2014, but it rejected the ruling and has continued to claim legitimacy. However, its control of the country is severely limited by the current civil war against an Islamist rival government, which has controlled Tripoli since August 2014. The rival government presents itself as a legal continuation of the General National Congress, which was elected in July 2012 and was set to dissolve following the June 2014 elections, but reconvened after Islamists rejected the results. This new General National Congress meets in Tripoli, while the Council of Deputies meets in Tobruk.