Algeria–Libya relations

Algeria–Libya relations are longstanding between the two neighbouring North African Maghreb states, although they are considerably strained by tensions between the revolutionary National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya, and the single-party autocracy of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria. Bilateral relations were generally amicable during Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year rule of Libya.[1]

Algeria-Libya relations



Strong Libyan support for the Polisario Front in the Western Sahara until 1984, and similarly hardline positions on colonialism and Israel, facilitated 1970s Algerian relations with Libya. Libyan inclinations for full-scale political union, however, have obstructed formal political collaboration, because Algeria has consistently backed away from such cooperation with its unpredictable neighbour. The Treaty of Oujda (1984) between Libya and Morocco, which represented a response to Treaty of Fraternity and Concord (1983) between Algeria and Tunisia, temporarily aggravated Algeria—Libya relations by establishing a political divide in the region—Libya and Morocco on one side; and Algeria, Tunisia, and Mauritania on the other.[1]

In 1988, Libya was invited to participate in the Inter-Maghrib commission that was responsible for developing the Arab Maghreb Union (UMA). The establishment of UMA in February 1989 marked the first formal political or economic collaboration between the two countries.[1]


The Senussi order, which ruled the Kingdom of Libya, has Algerian origin and tied heavily with Algerian identity.

Algerian Civil war

Gaddafi's Libya was accused by Algerian authorities of involvement at the height of Algerian Civil War (1991-2002) that caused a devastating war and the death of 200,000 Algerians. Libya, together with Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Morocco, had been involved in supporting the Islamist Armed Islamic Group of Algeria as well as other Islamist militant groups.

Libyan Revolution

During the Libyan Civil War, the anti-Gaddafi National Transitional Council (NTC) of Libya accused Algeria of supporting Gaddafi by allowing him to transfer military equipment and foreign fighters through Algerian territory.[2][3]

On 8 May 2011, Sadek Bouguetaya, a parliamentary leader and member of the Central Committee of the ruling FLN party, expressed Algeria's unconditional support for Gaddafi while addressing Gaddafi's meeting of Libyan tribes in Tripoli.[4] Later he explained during an interview to the Algerian newspaper Ech-Chourouk that his visit to Libya was for humanitarian purposes and that he was charged with this mission by Abdelaziz Belkhadem, the Secretary-General of the FLN and Minister.[5]

In early June 2011, the NTC began to soften its rhetoric. Ghoga, the NTC's vice chairman, agreed to an interview with Algerian daily Echorouk in which he said, "The Algerian and Libyan peoples are brothers. We are confident that our relations will be stronger in the coming days. We don't want to engage in conflicts with other countries especially with a brotherly country like Algeria. We also wish to see Algeria extend its support for the NTC very shortly."[6]

Despite Ghoga's efforts to mend relations with Algeria, two and a half months later, opposition fighters stormed the Algerian Embassy in Tripoli during Operation Mermaid Dawn, looting and vandalising the building. It was unclear whether the vandals had orders to target the embassy. Algerian Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci complained to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon over the incident.[7] On 24 August, the Algerian Foreign Ministry again denied the allegations Algiers had offered support to Gaddafi during the war and demanded that the NTC recant on its previous accusations as a condition for the Algerian government to recognise the council.[8]

However, when it emerged that Algeria was allegedly sheltering Gaddafi after he had fled following the NTC takeover of Tripoli, the NTC took a much harsher tone. On 29 August, it said that Algeria sheltering Gaddafi or his family members would be viewed as an "act of aggression".[9] In response, Libyan security forces closed the border with Algeria to prevent any more illicit crossings.


  1. Entelis, John P. with Lisa Arone. "The Maghrib". Algeria: a country study Archived January 15, 2013, at the Wayback Machine. Library of Congress Federal Research Division (December 1993). This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. Al Baik, Duraid (4 March 2011). "Rebel council calls on UN to hit mercenary bases". Gulfnews. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  3. "Algeria predicts tense ties with Libyan rebels". Al-Alam News Network. 3 May 2011. Archived from the original on 2014-11-06. Retrieved 18 July 2011.
  4. Algeria's 'one-eyed' American general - Briefings - Al Jazeera English
  5. (in French) Archived 2011-10-01 at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Libyan National Transition Council: "Algeria is a brotherly country"". Echorouk Online. 7 June 2011. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  7. "Algerian Embassy In Tripoli Target Of series Of Violations". Bernama. 23 August 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-06-03. Retrieved 25 May 2013.
  8. Walid Ramzi (24 August 2011). "Algeria to open relations with Libya transitional council". Magharebia. Archived from the original on 31 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  9. "Rebels to seek return of Gaddafi family from Algeria". Reuters. 29 August 2011.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.