Violence erupted in Libya in February 2011, pitting the army and Coloned Gaddafi loyalists against government opponents. The leadership of the anti-government protesters formed the National Transitional Council (NTC), with strongholds in the east of the country. On 10 March 2011, France became the first state to officially recognise the NLC as Libya's legitimate government. The International Contact Group on Libya recognised the NTC as the legitimate government of the country in July 2011.
Further reading: "Special Report from Inside Libya: Assessing Libyan Rebel Forces", Jamestown Foundation, Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 9, Issue 9, 3 March 2011 and "Key Leaders in Libya's rebel council", BBC News, March 2011
Militias made up of former rebel fighters remain armed and continue to clash in various parts of Libya, having been called "the country's most important security threat."
Further reading: "Disarming Libya's militias", BBC News, 28 September 2012
Last updated: 22 November 2012