Libya map, Map of Libya, Tripoli, Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Algeria, Gulf of Sidra, Mediterranean Sea
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The country of Libya has the highest Human Development Index in Africa and has been undergoing political reconstruction since the 2011 overthrow and death of the dictator Muammar Gadaffi. It has a long coastline facing the Mediterranean. The first inhabitants left prehistoric cave paintings in Jebel Acacus and Wadi Methendous. These people were ancestors of the Berbers and other natives, who eventually began to trade with the Phoenicians. The empire of Carthage eventually rose to power, only to be destroyed by the Romans, who took over. However, when the western Romans fell to the Vandals, many cities quickly went from prosperous to nothing but sand and ruins. The Eastern part of the Roman Empire, known as Byzantium, attempted to repair the damage, but the governors preferred to pocket tax money, rather than use it on improvements to the cities. After the Byzantines, the area was ruled by the Abassids, the Umayyads, the Zirids, the Hapsburg Spanish, and from 1912 to 1927, Italy, which named the country North Africa. Sadly, an estimated 50 thousand people died from starvation and disease while under Italian control. Idris al Mahdi led an uprising against the cruel foreign rulers, but was exiled later. When he finally returned, he declined permanent residency until his homeland was free. Italy relinquished all claims on Libya in 1947, and the country gained independence as the United Kingdom of Libya Jamahiriya in 1951 from the UN. From 1977 to 2011, the country was officially known as the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and later Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Idris became Libya's first king until Muammar Gadaffi led a coup against him in 1969. Gadaffi's regime spied on his citizens in all sectors and executed those he didn't like on television, though some of the assassinations he ordered remain secret even today. Gadaffi proclaimed himself 'King of Kings' in 2008. Following the Arab Spring revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that removed longtime dictators, Gadaffi was killed in a revolt by his people in 2011, despite his efforts to use police forces quell the uprisings. Literacy rate is 82%, the highest for North Africa. Total area and land is 175,950 sq km Population is 6,002,347

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