Najla El Mangoush

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Najla Mohammed El Mangoush (born 7 June 1973) is a Libyan diplomat and lawyer.[1] She was Libya's foreign minister in Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh's government from 15 March 2021[2] until her dismissal on 28 August 2023.[3] El Mangoush is Libya's first female foreign minister,[4] and the fifth woman to hold the position of a foreign minister in the Arab World.

Najla El Mangoush
نجلاء محمد المنقوش
Mangoush in 2022
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Suspended
Assumed office
15 March 2021
Suspended: 28 August 2023 – present
PresidentMohamed al-Menfi
Prime MinisterAbdul Hamid Dbeibeh
Preceded byMohamed Taha Siala
Succeeded byFathallah al-Zani (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1973-06-07) 7 June 1973 (age 51)
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Political partyIndependent
Alma mater

Early life and education

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Najla El Mangoush was born in Cardiff, Wales, to a family of four children who originated from Libya, but she grew up in Benghazi, the city to which the family returned, when she was six years old.[5]

El Mangoush was trained as a lawyer at Benghazi University (then Garyounis University) and was later an assistant professor of law at the university. She later obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States of America, where she graduated from the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia.[1]

Career

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Early career

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As a conflict-resolution expert, she was the country representative in Libya for USIP (United States Institute of Peace).[1]

She has served as the Program Officer for Peace-building and Traditional Law at the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution in Arlington, Virginia.[1]

During the First Libyan Civil War, she headed the National Transitional Council's (NTC) Public Engagement Unit which dealt with civil society organisations.[1]

Foreign minister

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Mangoush meets with U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in Bari, Italy on 29 June 2021.

On 15 March 2021 she became the foreign minister in Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh's cabinet, which is a part of the government of national unity. She is the first female foreign minister of Libya and the fifth to hold such a position in the Arab World after Naha Mint Mouknass (2009–2011) and Vatma Vall Mint Soueina (2015) of Mauritania, Fawzia Yusuf H. Adam (2012–2014) of Somalia and Asma Mohamed Abdalla (2019–2020) of Sudan.[2]

In May 2021, she came under pressure to resign and been subjected to personal abuse after she called Turkey to comply with the UN resolutions and withdraw the Turkish troops and mercenaries from Libya.[6]

On 6 November 2021, the Presidential Council suspended Mangoush on charges of carrying out foreign policy without coordination with the council. She was also barred from traveling.[7] Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh disputed[8][9] the right of the Presidential Council to suspend Mangoush, saying the power to appoint or suspend ministers in his government is his exclusive preserve.

After the announcement of a meeting between Mangoush and Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen in Italy on 27 August 2023, she was suspended, and an investigation was opened against her.[10] On 28 August, she was dismissed from Dbeibeh's cabinet.[3] She fled Libya first to Turkey and later London, where her family resides, the same day out of fear for her safety amid a growing uproar in Tripoli over the issue.[11]

Awards

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On December 7, 2021, Mangoush was named in the BBC 100 Women 2021 list for her work on building links with civil society organisations.[12] In 2022, Mangoush received the International Women of Courage Award from the United States Department of State.[13]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ a b c d e "Najla Mangoush – Libya's first female Foreign Minister". Libya Herald. 11 March 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Najla Mangoush first female Libyan FM". alwasat.ly (in Arabic). 15 March 2021. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Libya's Foreign Minister Najla al-Mangoush dismissed: Sources". Aljazeera. 28 August 2023. Retrieved 28 August 2023.
  4. ^ "Najla Mangoush – Libya's first female Foreign Minister". Libya Herald. 11 March 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  5. ^ Rausch, Colette (2015). Speaking Their Peace: Personal Stories from the Frontlines of War and Peace. Berkeley, California: Roaring Forties Press. ISBN 978-1938901386.
  6. ^ "Libya's first female foreign minister pressed to quit". The Guardian.
  7. ^ Libya's Presidency Council suspends foreign minister, spokesperson says
  8. ^ Wintour, Patrick (7 November 2021). "Libya's PM and president in dispute over foreign minister's suspension". The Guardian.
  9. ^ "Libya's Presidency Council suspends foreign minister, gov't rejects the decision". National Post. Toronto, Ontario. Reuters.
  10. ^ "Libya suspends foreign minister after meeting with Israeli foreign minister". Reuters. 27 August 2023. Retrieved 27 August 2023.
  11. ^ Nova, Redazione Agenzia (29 August 2023). "After meeting with her Israeli counterpart, the Libyan minister flies to London from Turkey". Agenzia Nova. Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  12. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2021: Who is on the list this year?". BBC News. 7 December 2021. Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  13. ^ "2022 International Women of Courage Award". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
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