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Mahmoud Jibril

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Mahmoud Jibril
محمود جبريل
Jibril in 2011
Prime Minister of Libya
In office
5 March 2011 – 23 October 2011
PresidentMustafa Abdul Jalil
DeputyAli Abd-al-Aziz al-Isawi
Ali Tarhouni
Preceded byBaghdadi Mahmudi
Succeeded byAli Tarhouni (Acting)
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
5 March 2011 – 22 November 2011
Prime MinisterAli Tarhouni (Acting)
Abdurrahim El-Keib
Preceded byAbdul Ati al-Obeidi
Succeeded byAshour Bin Khayal
Leader of the National Forces Alliance
In office
14 March 2012 – 5 April 2020
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byTBD
Personal details
Mahmoud Jibril el-Warfally

(1952-05-28)28 May 1952[1]
Benghazi, Libya[2][3]
Died5 April 2020(2020-04-05) (aged 67)
Cairo, Egypt
Cause of deathCardiac arrest and complications from COVID-19
Political partyNational Forces Alliance
Alma materCairo University
University of Pittsburgh

Mahmoud Jibril el-Warfally[4] (Arabic: محمود جبريل الورفلي), also transcribed Jabril or Jebril or Gebril (28 May 1952 – 5 April 2020),[5] was a Libyan politician who served as the interim Prime Minister of Libya for seven and a half months during the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and the Libyan Civil War, chairing the executive board of the National Transitional Council (NTC) from 5 March to 23 October 2011.[6][7] He also served as the Head of International Affairs.[8] As of July 2012, Jibril was the head of one of the largest political parties in Libya, the National Forces Alliance.[9]

Toward the end of the conflict, Jibril was increasingly referred to by foreign governments and in media as the interim prime minister of Libya.[10] Jibril's government was recognized as the "sole legitimate representative" of Libya by the majority of UN states including France, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, Iran, and Qatar.[11][12]


Jibril graduated in Economics and Political Science from Cairo University in 1975,[13] then earned a master's degree in political science in 1980 and a doctorate in political science in 1985, both from the University of Pittsburgh.[14]

Jibril led the team which drafted and formed the Unified Arab Training manual.[15] He was also responsible for organizing and administering the first two training conferences in the Arab world in the years 1987 and 1988.[16] He later took over the management and administration of many of the leadership training programs for senior management in Arab countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates.[13]

From 2007 to early 2011, he served in the Gaddafi regime as head of the National Planning Council of Libya and of the National Economic Development Board of Libya (NEDB).[17] While there, he was a protégé and close friend of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and promoted privatization and liberalization policies.[18][19][20]

National Transitional Council[edit]

On 23 March 2011, amidst the Libyan Civil War, the National Transitional Council officially formed a transitional government and Jibril was appointed to head it.[21] Jibril led meetings and negotiations with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, a meeting that resulted in France officially recognizing the National Transitional Council as the sole representative of the Libyan people.[11] He also met with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz, successfully persuading them to publicly back the NTC.[22]

Following his appointment as the NTC's head of government, Jibril was referred to by foreign officials as both as the interim prime minister[23] and the chairman of the Executive Board,[24] the title attributed to him by the NTC official website.[6] References to Jibril as the prime minister, including by news organisations,[25] foreign government ministries[26] and world leaders,[27] have increased significantly after rebels entered Tripoli in late August 2011.

In his capacity as the NTC's top diplomat, Jibril was also referred to as the council's foreign minister,[28][29] though this may have been a colloquial title. Qatar-based news organization Al Jazeera also called him "the NTC's chief of staff" on at least one occasion.[30]

The Executive Board was sacked en masse by decision of the NTC on 8 August over its sluggish response to the assassination of General Abdul Fatah Younis, Benghazi's top commander.[31] Jibril was asked to form a new board subject to the council's approval.[32] Though Jibril stayed on as the board's chairman, a spokesman for the NTC said he would be required to spend less time out of the country.[33]

On 21 August, amidst the Battle of Tripoli, Jibril gave a televised speech urging revolutionary fighters against looting, revenge killing, abusing foreign nationals, and mistreating prisoners of war.[34] He also called for unity and asked that police and army units in Tripoli disavow Gaddafi but remain at their posts. Jibril declared, "Today, all Libya's people are allowed to participate in the building of the future to build institutions with the aid of a constitution that does not differentiate between a man and a woman, sects or ethnicities. Libya is for everyone and will now be for everyone. Libya has the right to create an example that will be followed in the Arab region."[35]

In September, Jibril "proposed 36 names for a new cabinet, including friends and relatives, and retained the prime minister and foreign minister slots for himself." He later retracted the proposal when NTC members objected, but an anonymous council official said it had "left a bitter taste".[36]


On 3 October 2011, Jibril announced that he would resign from government once the country had been "liberated".[37] He later specified this meant the capture of Sirte from loyalist holdouts.[38] On 20 October 2011, Sirte was captured and Muammar Gaddafi was killed. Keeping his promise to leave at the war's end, Jibril resigned three days later. He was succeeded by Abdurrahim El-Keib on 31 October.[39]

In the National Forces Alliance[edit]

In 2012, Jibril became a member of the newly founded political union, the National Forces Alliance. On 14 March 2012, he was elected leader of the alliance. Jibril represented his party in the General National Congress election.[40]

In the national elections of 7 September 2012, Jibril described his party as a supporter of democracy and also as an advocate of Sharia.[41] The NFA won the largest number of seats in these elections.[40] At the time, Jibril ran for a second term as prime minister. Jibril won the first round of voting, with 86 votes, significantly more than the 55 votes obtained by his primary opponent, Mustafa Abushagur.[42] However, in the second round of voting, Abushagur ultimately defeated Jibril.[43]


On 21 March 2020, Jibril suffered a cardiac arrest, and was admitted to the Ganzouri Specialized Hospital in Cairo, Egypt. Three days later, he tested positive for COVID-19, which he died from on 5 April 2020, at the age of 67.[44]


  • el-Warfally, Mahmoud G., Imagery and Ideology in U.S. Policy Toward Libya, 1969–1982, University of Pittsburgh Press (December 1988), ISBN 978-0-8229-3580-3


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF).
  2. ^ "Pitt Alumnus Mahmoud Jibril—President of Libya's National Forces Alliance and Former Prime Minister of Libya—to Present Distinguished Lecture on Campus Oct. 31". University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Libya: Moussa Koussa 'tried to get job in new government'". The Daily Telegraph. London. 8 September 2011.
  4. ^ "Libyan rebels look to Pitt grad for voice | TribLIVE". Pittsburgh live. Archived from the original on 25 December 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  5. ^ Alwasat News. "Former Libyan PM Mahmoud Jibril has died from complications related to coronavirus". En.alwasat.ly. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b "The Executive Board of the National Transitional Council". National Transitional Council. Archived from the original on 27 July 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  7. ^ Friedman, Uri (23 March 2011). "Libyan Rebels Name Mahmoud Jibril Their Prime Minister". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 2 August 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Excerpts from Libya Contact Group Chair's Statement". Reuters Africa. Reuters. 15 July 2011. Archived from the original on 25 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
  9. ^ Chris Stephen Muslim Brotherhood fell 'below expectations' in Libyan elections The Guardian, 10 July 2012
  10. ^ Peralta, Eyder (13 May 2011). "Libyan Opposition Leader: The Revolution Is Led By 'New Breed Of Generations'". National Public Radio. Retrieved 21 July 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Libyan opposition fights for recognition both at home and abroad". Deutsche Welle. 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  12. ^ "U.S. recognition of new Libyan government raises tough legal questions". Washington Post. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Council members". Interim Transitional National Council website. Archived from the original on 10 March 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.
  14. ^ University of Pittsburgh Commencement, 1985. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh. 28 April 1985. p. 22. Retrieved 7 April 2011.
  15. ^ "Profile: Mahmoud Jibril". BBC News. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2020. He also wrote several books and ran leadership training programmes in several Arab states.
  16. ^ "Mahmoud Jibril Prime Minister of Libya (2011); Leader of the National Forces Alliance of Libya, National Forces Alliance of Libya". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  17. ^ Wikileaks – 09TRIPOLI386, reviewed and hosted at Politiken
  18. ^ "Mahmoud Jibril and Qaddafi's Wealth Redistribution Project". The Passionate Attachment. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 7 March 2013.
  19. ^ Enrico Piovesana Il possibile successore di Gheddafi, peacereporter, 24 March 2011
  20. ^ "Wikileaks - CableGate". Archived from the original on 7 May 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  21. ^ "Libyan air force 'no longer exists'". Al Jazeera. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2011.
  22. ^ Schwartz, Daniel (29 March 2011). "Mahmoud Jibril: the international face of Libya's rebels". CBC News. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  23. ^ Sherman, Brad (12 May 2011). "Letter to the Libyan Interim PM" (PDF). Office of Congressman Brad Sherman. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 June 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  24. ^ Füle, Štefan (14 July 2011). "Statement by Commissioner Štefan Füle following his meeting with Dr Mahmoud Jibril, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Libyan Transitional National Council". Europa. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  25. ^ Salama, Vivian; Peker, Emre (26 August 2011). "Libyan Rebels Seek Aid as Qaddafi Invokes Jihad". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  26. ^ "President Sarkozy receives Mr Mahmoud Jibril, Prime Minister of the National Transitional Council of Libya at the Elysée Palace". Embassy of France in Dublin. 24 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  27. ^ "About-face for Berlusconi, who feted Qadhafi". Dawn. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 26 August 2011.
  28. ^ "US stops short of recognising Libya rebels". Al Jazeera. 14 May 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  29. ^ "Top diplomats set for Libya talks in Turkey". The News International. 14 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  30. ^ "Rebels make gains in western Libya". Al Jazeera. 6 July 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2011.
  31. ^ "Libyan opposition dissolves leadership board". Al Jazeera. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  32. ^ "Libya rebels dissolve executive committee". The Oregonian. OregonLive.com. 8 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  33. ^ Fahim, Kareem (9 August 2011). "Libyan Rebels Dismiss Entire Cabinet". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 August 2011.
  34. ^ "The world is watching, don't seek vengeance, rebel leaders tell Libyans". 22 August 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  35. ^ "The world is watching, don't seek vengeance, rebel leaders tell Libyans". Herald Sun. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  36. ^ Jaffe, Greg (28 September 2011). "Libyans wait, and worry, as government delays forming cabinet". The Washington Post.
  37. ^ "Jibril vows to quit after Libya 'liberation'". Al Jazeera. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  38. ^ "Libyan forces say liberation of Sirte is near". CBC News. CBC News. 8 October 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011.
  39. ^ "Libya's Prime Minister Abdurrahim al-Keib in profile". 2 November 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  40. ^ a b "General National Congress Elections in Libya". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  41. ^ Kirkpatrick, David D. (8 July 2012). "Election Results in Libya Break an Islamist Wave". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  42. ^ "Libya's Assembly Elects Mustafa Abu Shagur As Prime Minister". Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  43. ^ Gattis, Paul (7 October 2012). "Former University of Alabama in Huntsville professor ousted as prime minister of Libya". Al.com. Retrieved 5 April 2020.
  44. ^ "Former Libya Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril dies from coronavirus". 5 April 2020. Retrieved 5 April 2020.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Libya
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Position established
Leader of the National Forces Alliance