Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Libya and geographies of insecurity

by Fiona Ferbrache

As some foreign governments have been organising the evacuation of their citizens from Libya, other migrants in the country have been left to fend for themselves.  Many people in Libya are thus stranded and left to face various insecurities as unrest continues to unfold.  It is estimated that 1.5 million Egyptians live and work in Libya, many of whom are now fleeing the country and the threat of maltreatment.  For Egyptians, the insecurities against them have risen, following the accusation that Egyptians are partly responsible for recent uprising in the country.

BBC News, reporting on events in the Middle East (2011), provides an indication of the number of foreign citizens in Libya, and how their various governments are responding to the crisis.

Events in Libya strike a chord with a forthcoming article in TIBG: Fluri (in press) explores geographies of security in contemporary conflict zones.  Her analysis examines the everyday (gendered) sites and situations of civilian security in relation to civilian movements and mobility, and is informed by feminist discourses of political geography.  Fluri’s work presents examples of civilian (in)security in Afghanistan, but she is eager to emphasise that this place-specific analysis is not intended to limit spatial understanding of security to one place.  Fluri urges for additional research of conflict zones, not only to broaden epistemologies of civilian (in)securities, but also to respond and manage civilian lives in places and moments of instability and threat – places such as Libya.

Fluri, J.L. (in press) Bodies, bombs and barricades: geographies of conflict and civilian (in)security. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

BBC News (2011) Libya protests: Evacuation of foreigners continues.  Online 25 February, 2011. Accessed 26 February, 2011

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