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TIMELINE-Libya's uprising against Muammar Gaddafi

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Fri, 29 Jul 2011 14:38 GMT
Author: Reuters
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July 29 (Reuters) - Here is a timeline on the revolt in Libya since the first protests against the rule of Muammar Gaddafi began in February:

Feb 15/16, 2011 - A riot in Benghazi is triggered by the arrest of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel, who has worked to free political prisoners, Quryna newspaper reports.

Feb. 17 - Activists designate a day of rage. It is the anniversary of 2006 clashes in Benghazi when security forces killed protesters attacking the city's Italian consulate.

Feb. 24 - Anti-Libyan government militias take control of Misrata after evicting forces loyal to Gaddafi.

Feb. 26 - The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Gaddafi and his family, and refers Libya's crackdown on rebels to the International Criminal Court.

Feb. 28 - EU governments approve a package of sanctions against Gaddafi and his closest advisers including an arms embargo and bans on travel to the bloc.

March 5 - The National Council meets in Benghazi and declares itself sole representative for Libya.

March 10 - France recognises the Libyan National Council as the legitimate representative of Libya's people. Libya suspends diplomatic relations with France the next day.

March 16 - Forces loyal to Gaddafi are near rebel-held Benghazi. Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam tells France-based TV channel Euronews: "Everything will be over in 48 hours."

March 17 - The U.N. Security Council votes to authorise a no-fly zone over Libya and "all necessary measures" -- code for military action -- to protect civilians against Gaddafi's army.

March 19 - The first air strikes halt the advance of Gaddafi's forces on Benghazi and target Libya's air defences.

March 28 - Qatar becomes the first Arab country to recognise Libya's rebels as the people's legitimate representative.

March 29 - A London conference of 40 governments and organisations agrees to set up a contact group comprising 20 countries to coordinate efforts in a post-Gaddafi Libya.

March 30 - Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa defects and flies to Britain.

April 10 - Gaddafi accepts a roadmap for ending the conflict, South African President Jacob Zuma says after leading a delegation of four African leaders at talks in Tripoli. Rebels reject the plan the next day.

April 30 - A NATO missile attack on a house in Tripoli kills Gaddafi's youngest son and three grandchildren.

May 13 - The National Transitional Council (NTC) names officials to portfolios to set up an effective administration.

May 30 - In his first appearance in a month, Gaddafi renews a ceasefire call in talks with visiting South African President Zuma but gives no sign he will heed demands to step down.

June 1 - Libya's top oil official Shokri Ghanem appears in Rome, saying he defected after the relentless bloodshed.

June 8 - Western and Arab nations meet rebels in Abu Dhabi discussing what U.S. officials call the "end-game" for Gaddafi.

June 15 - Libya approves a ${esc.dollar}31.4 billion budget for the rest of 2011, to show it is functioning as normal.

June 27 - The International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi, charged with crimes against humanity.

July 2 - African Union leaders offer to host talks between the government and rebels on a ceasefire.

-- Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou says nations at the AU summit "had been requested" not to act on the arrest warrants for Gaddafi issued by the ICC.

July 14 - Gaddafi, in his latest speech on Libyan television, says he is staying put. "I will fight until the end," he said. "The end of NATO will be in Libya."

-- The Gaddafi government has halted all cooperation with Italy's Eni and is talking to other energy groups about new deals, Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi says.

July 15 - Rebel leaders win recognition as the legitimate government of Libya from the U.S. at a meeting in Turkey of the international contact group on Libya. Western nations also say they will increase military pressure on Gaddafi's forces.

July 16 - A rare meeting between U.S diplomats and Gaddafi envoys is held "to deliver a clear and firm message that the only way to move forward, is for Gaddafi to step down".

July 22 - Thousands gather near Tripoli's historic centre for the unveiling of a massive likeness of Gaddafi.

July 26 - U.N. envoy Abdul Elah al-Khatib says after talks with Libya's prime minister the government and the rebels remained far apart in efforts to end the crisis.

July 27 - Rebels win diplomatic recognition from Britain which also expels the remaining Gaddafi diplomats from London. Portugal recognises the NTC the next day.

July 28 - Abdel Fattah Younes, Gaddafi's former interior minister who defected to the rebels on Feb. 22 and became their military chief, is killed.

July 29 - Rebel commanders say they have taken control of Ghezaia and the settlements of Takut and Um al Far in the Western mountains as part of a new offensive. (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit;)

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