Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/11/2014 -- Libya is at a significant crossroads following the conclusion of the civil war in 2011 and the end of the 42-year rule of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi. The country is home to an educated population and a considerable oil and petrochemicals industry. For these reasons, the internal situation in Libya has significant ramifications beyond the country's borders.
BMI expects Libya to spend US$1.3bn on defence in 2014. Over the next four years, we then expect the defence budget to experience a significant increase, climbing to US$2.6bn in 2018.
Political instability continues. In February 2014 the speaker of the General National Congress (GNC), the interim Libyan parliament promised to set a date for early elections. However, on February 18 several undisbanded militia groups requested that the parliament be dismantled to immediate effort. These calls were echoed by a former general who had defected from the Gaddahfi regime.
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Militant groups pose a significant threat to Libya's fledgling democracy. In early 2013 the government ordered the army to lift blockades that had been imposed by the security guards, many of whom were suspected of being former rebels opposed to Gaddafi's rule, at several oil terminals in eastern Libya. The ports had been blockaded in an attempt by local protestors to secure a degree of political autonomy for the eastern Cyrenaica region. However, Libya has finally destroyed all of its chemical weapons. On February 4 2014 the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that Libya had formally destroyed all of its stocks of these weapons to this end.
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