Sudan President Omar al-Bashir meeting revolutionary leader Khaddafi of Libya
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire Photo File
LIBYA CUTS ITSELF OFF FROM WORLD FOR DAY OF MOURNING
Libya cut itself off from the world on Friday for a national day of
mourning to mark the deportation of thousands of Libyans after the
Italian invasion of 1911.
Authorities called on Libyans to wear black, while all international
communications as well as bus services, planes, trains, post and
telephone networks were suspended from dawn until 6 pm (1600 GMT), according to a government statement.
Libyans were told to cut all links to the outside world during the
day of mourning, which commemorates the deportation of thousands of Libyans to Italian islands following the invasion of northern Libya in October 1911.
The commemoration is marked every year.
Flags were to be flown at half mast to mark the Italian declaration
of war against Turkey and the occupation of the regions historically
known as Cyrenaica and Tripolitania on the Mediterranean coast.
The conflict finished in October 1912 and saw Libya later become an
Italian colony until it won independence in 1951, following a short
period of Anglo-French rule under an UN mandate.
According to Libya's state news agency JANA, more then 5,000 Libyans were deported to Italian islands in the Adriatic between 1911 and World War II in an effort to break the resistance.
Relations between Italy and Libya have been strained mostly due to
disputes dating back to the colonial period.
Libya is claiming compensation from Italy through the construction
of a new six-billion-euro (8.5 billion-dollar) motorway stretching
across Libya from its border with Tunisia to the Egyptian frontier.