Libya Protests vs. Egypt Protests

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Difference between Libya Protests and Egypt Protests

The widespread Egyptian protests that led to the ouster of that nation’s leader has been a hot item in the news recently. Quick to follow on its heels were the protests in Libya, which seemingly heralded a change in political climates in the region. While it remains to be seen if the Libyan protests will result in a similar change in government, there are numerous parallels to be drawn between the protests in both countries, as you will see in this comparison article.

Libya Protests
Egypt Protests


The Libya protests of 2011 started out as a series of confrontations between citizens and government forces. The thrust of the protests was geared against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. These protests started on February 15, 2011, and are still ongoing at present.

The Egypt protests of 2011 followed in the wake of an uprising that started on January 25, 2011. This protest was marked by numerous demonstrations, acts of civil disobedience, and strikes, as well as violent confrontations between protesters and government forces that remained loyal to Hosni Mubarak. These protests took place simultaneously in many Egyptian cities including Cairo and Alexandria.

Triggers/Mitigating Factors

The Libya protests are seen by many to be part of a larger series of similar movements in the Middle East and in North Africa. By February 22, Richard Engel of NBC announced that the protests had escalated to full-blown war. While the uprising was seen as an effort to reclaim the country from Gaddafi, who is the longest-ruling autocrat in the world, Gaddafi himself said that it was largely due to the al-Qaeda and "drugged kids".

The Egypt protests mirrored similar events in Tunisia, where the country's long time president was overthrown. In Egypt, the protests were comprised of millions of people from different socio-economic backgrounds and religions, all of who united with the goal of overthrowing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Current Status

On February 27, an effort was made by the National Libyan Council to consolidate opposition forces. Rather than attempting to instill an interim government however, this move simply intended to coordinate resistance between the different rebel factions, and to present the opposition with a recognizable a political identity to show to the world.

On February 10, 2011, Mubarak formally addressed the nation amid reports of an imminent military coup. Instead of announcing his resignation as many expected however, Mubarak announced the transfer of presidential powers to Egyptian Vice President, Suleiman, while he himself would remain the head of state of Egypt. In response to this, protests continued in even greater numbers and intensity, and by February 11, 2011, Mubarak's resignation was finally announced by Suleiman.

Similarities and Differences

Libya protests

  • Started out as a series of confrontations between citizens and government forces
  • Thrust of the protests was geared against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and are still ongoing at present

Egypt protests

  • Followed in the wake of an uprising that started on January 25, 2011
  • Resulted in the February 11, 2011 resignation of Mubarak


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