Briefing Paper

Tackling the aftermath of Libya’s ‘Arab Spring’: Addressing the Small Arms Issue

“The ‘Arab Spring’ – the term used for the popular uprisings against repressive leaders in North Africa and parts of the Middle East – not only took most of the world by surprise, but more disturbingly portrayed the ruthlessness with which the embattled leaders sought to suppress those who dared to challenge their rule. In Libya, the death of Muammar Gaddafi, the autocratic leader for the past 42 years on 22nd October 2011 was the grand finale to a struggle that has increasingly become violent. In the aftermath of Gaddafi’s death, the leader of the the National Transitional Council (NTC), Mustafa Abdul Jalil, delivered the Liberation Speech that brought to an end, almost nine months of a brutal and devastating uprising. This brief therefore draws attention to the importance of ensuring that these floating arms do not end up in the hands of potentially dangerous non-state actors. It also argues that the NTC must make it a priority to set up weapons collection centers to effectively gather these small arms in order to guarantee sustainable peace in post-conflict Libya.”