American Evacuation Day of Libya

2019-06-11 Tue

American Evacuation Day is the celebration of the removal of the U.S. from Libya on June 11, 1970.

Libya is a country in North Africa. This geographical positioning was also the source of an increase of trade as most of the ships that sailed throughout the Mediterranean Sea would stop at this port. This also had many other disadvantages as its proximity and importance caused many countries to want to control the port, and hence many invasions were made by countries like Greece, Italy, and Britain.

In 1947, after losing the Second World War, Italy relinquished all the claims it had on Libya in a peace treaty. As a superpower, the control of Libya went into the hands of America along with Britain. A constitutional hereditary monarchy was instituted.

With the discovery of oil reserves, the Libyan economy grew so did the interest of western powers in Libya. However, Libyan society saw the poor only getting poorer and the rich getting richer. Hence, Students began demonstrating resulted in Al-Ghadaffi coming to power in September 1969.

The U.S. and U.K. troops occupying military bases, including Wheelus, were asked to leave the country. Due to the strategic importance of the military bases, both the U.K. and the U.S. resisted the demand. However, after long and arduous negotiations, an agreement was made to remove the troops.

On June 11, 1970, the United States turned Wheelus Air Base over to Libya and left. Hence, 11th June is celebrated as the American Evacuation Day in Libya.

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