May 31 (Reuters) - Here is a timeline on the revolt in Libya since the first protests against the rule of Muammar Gaddafi began in February:
Feb 15/16, 2011 - A riot in Benghazi is triggered by the arrest of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel, who has worked to free political prisoners, Quryna newspaper reports.
Feb. 17 - Activists designate a day of rage. It is the anniversary of 2006 clashes in Benghazi when security forces killed protesters attacking the city’s Italian consulate.
Feb. 21 - Diplomats at Libya’s mission to the United Nations side with the revolt and call on the Libyan army to help overthrow Gaddafi.
Feb. 22 - Gaddafi vows to die “a martyr” in Libya and says he will crush the revolt.
Feb. 24 - Anti-Libyan government militias take control of Misrata after evicting forces loyal to Gaddafi.
Feb. 26 - The U.N. Security Council imposes sanctions on Gaddafi and his family, and refers Libya’s crackdown on rebels to the International Criminal Court.
Feb. 28 - EU governments approve a package of sanctions against Gaddafi and his closest advisers including an arms embargo and bans on travel to the bloc.
— Gaddafi refuses to acknowledge protests in the streets of Tripoli, saying all Libyans love him.
March 5 - The National Council meets in Benghazi and declares itself sole representative for Libya.
March 10 - France recognises the Libyan National Council as the legitimate representative of Libya’s people. Libya suspends diplomatic relations with France the next day.
March 16 - Forces loyal to Gaddafi are near rebel-held Benghazi. Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam tells France-based TV channel Euronews: “Everything will be over in 48 hours.”
March 17 - The U.N. Security Council votes to authorise a no-fly zone over Libya and “all necessary measures” — code for military action — to protect civilians against Gaddafi’s army.
March 19 - The first air strikes halt the advance of Gaddafi’s forces on Benghazi and target Libya’s air defences.
March 22 - “We will not surrender,” Gaddafi tells supporters forming a human shield to protect him at his Tripoli compound.
March 28 - Qatar becomes the first Arab country to recognise Libya’s rebels as the people’s legitimate representative.
March 29 - A London conference of 40 governments and organisations agrees to set up a contact group comprising 20 countries to coordinate efforts in a post-Gaddafi Libya.
March 30 - Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa defects and flies to Britain.
April 10 - Gaddafi accepts a roadmap for ending the conflict, South African President Jacob Zuma says after leading a delegation of four African leaders at talks in Tripoli.
April 11 - Rebels reject an African Union peace plan as it does not address their main demand that Gaddafi quit.
April 29 - Gaddafi, in a live speech, says he is ready for a ceasefire and negotiations, provided NATO “stops its planes”.
April 30 - A NATO missile attack on a house in Tripoli kills Gaddafi’s youngest son and three grandchildren.
May 1 - Libya says it regrets the attacks on several embassies saying its police force was overpowered by crowds angered by the NATO strike that killed Gaddafi’s son.
May 5 - Ministers from the contact group, agree in Rome to set up a non-military fund to help the cash-strapped rebels.
May 9 - Oil payments for Libyan rebels selling crude oil are being made through a Qatari trust fund in U.S. dollars, a member of the oil and gas support group for Libya says.
May 13 - The National Transitional Council says it has named officials to a number of portfolios including defence, part of its efforts to set up an effective and united administration.
May 16 - The International Criminal Court’s prosecutor says he requested arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi for crimes against humanity.
May 24 - Jordan announces it recognises the rebel council as a legitimate representative of Libya’s people.
May 26 - Al Hadi Hadeiba, Gaddafi’s ambassador to the EU defects.
May 30 - In his first appearance in a month, Gaddafi renews a ceasefire call in talks with visiting South African President Zuma but gives no sign he will heed demands to step down.
— Eight high-ranking Libyan army officers appear in Rome saying they are part of around 120 military officials and soldiers who have defected from Gaddafi.
May 31 - Foreign Minister Franco Frattini opens Italy’s consulate in Benghazi and pledges financial support for the rebels.
— Zuma says on his return, that Gaddafi is emphatic he will not leave Libya.