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Libyan Genocide – World history – Free PDF download

BACKGROUND

  • Italy had seized military control of Libya from the Ottoman Empire during the Italo-Turkish War in 1912 , but the new colony had swiftly revolted, transferring large swathes of territory to local Libyan rule.
  • Conflict between Italy and the Senussis – a Muslim political-religious tariqa based in Libya – erupted into major violence during World War I, when Senussis in Libya began collaborating with the Ottomans against Italian troops.
  • The Libyan Senussis also escalated the conflict with attacks on British forces in Egypt.In 1917 an exhausted Italy signed the Treaty of Acroma, which acknowledged the effective independence of Libya from Italian control.

BACKGROUND

  • In 1918, Tripolitanian rebels founded the Tripolitanian Republic, though the rest of the country remained under nominal Italian rule.
  • The Pacification began with Italian forces rapidly occupying the Sirte desert separating Tripolitania from Cyrenaica.
  • By late 1928 the Italians had taken control of Ghibla, and its tribes were disarmed.In this period they also regained the northern lowlands of Cyrenaica, but attempts to occupy the forested hills were met with strong guerrilla resistance, led by Senussi sheikh Omar Mukhtar.

PACIFICATION

  • Attempted negotiations between Italy and Omar Mukhtar broke down and Italy then planned for the complete conquest of Libya.
  • In 1930, Italian forces conquered Fezzan and raised the Italian flag in Tummo, the southernmost region of Fezzan.
  • By 1931, well over half of the population of Cyrenaica were confined to 15 concentration camps where many died as result of overcrowding together with a lack of water, food and medicine while Badoglio had the Air Force use chemical warfare against the Bedouin rebels in the desert.

GENOCIDE

  • 12,000 Cyrenaicans were executed in 1931 and all the nomadic peoples of northern Cyrenaica were forcefully removed from the region and relocated to huge concentration camps in the Cyrenaican lowlands.
  • Half the population of Cyrenaica, being expelled from their settlements.These 100,000 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly, were forced by Italian authorities to march across the desert to a series of barbed-wire concentration camp compounds erected near Benghazi.
  • Typhus and other diseases spread rapidly in the camps as the people were physically weakened by meagre food rations provided to them and forced labour. By the time the camps closed in September 1933, 40,000 of the 100,000 total internees had died in the camps.
  • Mukhtar’s death effectively ended the resistance, and in January 1932, Badoglio proclaimed the end of the Pacification of Libya.

 

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