|This article's content is marked as Mature|
The page Mature contains mature content that may include coarse language, sexual references, and/or graphic violent images which may be disturbing to some. Mature pages are recommended for those who are 18 years of age and older.
If you are 18 years or older or are comfortable with graphic material, you are free to view this page. Otherwise, you should close this page and view another page.
|“||I am a Bedouin warrior who brought glory to Libya and will die a martyr.||„|
|~ Muammar Gaddafi|
Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi (مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfi ) (June 7th, 1942 – October 20th, 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi or Colonel Gaddafi, was Libya's autocratic ruler from 1969, when he seized power in a bloodless military coup, until 1979, and had remained the country's symbolic leader until 2011 when the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya regime he established was overthrown in a civil war which consisted of an uprising aided by a NATO intervention.
His 42-year leadership prior to the uprising made him the fourth longest-serving non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-serving Arab leader. He variously styled himself as "the Brother Leader" and "Guide of the Revolution"; in 2008 a meeting of traditional African rulers bestowed on him the title "King of Kings".
Gaddafi remains an extremely polarizing figure today, with some praising him for developing Libya, his anti-imperialistic stance, and his cooperation with African countries while others criticize him for his iron grip as well as human rights violations in Libya as well as his alleged funding of terrorist attacks.
Born near Sirte, Italian Libya to a poor Bedouin family, Gaddafi became an Arab nationalist while at school in Sabha, later enrolling in the Royal Military Academy, Benghazi. As a young man, he looked up to Gamal Abdel Nasser, the father of Arab nationalism. Within the military, he founded a revolutionary group that deposed the Western-backed Senussi monarchy of Idris in a 1969 coup.
After seizing power, he abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951. He established laws based on the political ideology he had formulated, called the Third International Theory and published in The Green Book. After establishing the jamahiriya ("state of the masses") system in 1977, he officially stepped down from power in 1979 and has since then held a largely symbolic role within the country's governance. He also prohibited any communist activity, declaring in 1973 that anyone who participated in communist activities would be imprisoned. He also ordered the mass expulsion of Italians and Jews in Libya in a day known as the Day of Revenge.
Rising oil prices and extraction in Libya led to increasing revenues after nationalizing oil. By exporting as much oil per capita as Saudi Arabia and through various welfare programs, Libya achieved the highest living standards in Africa. Early during his regime, Gaddafi and his relatives took over much of the economy. Gaddafi started several wars with neighboring countries Egypt and Chad and acquired chemical weapons. The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state. During his tenure, he warned that anyone who forms a political party will be executed.
During the Cold War, Gaddafi developed strong ties to the Soviet Union and cultivated alliances with Idi Amin Dada of Uganda (with Libya supporting Uganda during their war with Tanzania) and Hafez al-Assad of Syria during this time period, though his relations with Amin would sour later on. In 1980, Gaddafi and Assad proposed a political union, with Libya promising to pay off Syria's £1 billion debt to the Soviet Union; although pressures led Assad to pull out, they remained allies. He also sided with Palestine in the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel and forged an alliance with Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, but this alliance later collapsed when Gaddafi came to believe that Arafat was "too moderate" towards Israel, preferring more violent action. It has been rumored that Gaddafi funded the Black September group and aided them in carrying out the Munich Massacre.
Libya had long supported the FROLINAT militia in neighbouring Chad, and in December 1980, re-invaded Chad at the request of the FROLINAT-controlled GUNT government to aid in the civil war; in January 1981, Gaddafi suggested a political merger. The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) rejected this and called for a Libyan withdrawal, which came about in November 1981. The civil war resumed, and so Libya sent troops back in, clashing with French forces who supported the southern Chadian forces lead by Hissène Habré.
Many African nations were tired of Libya's interference in their affairs; by 1980, nine African states had severed diplomatic relations with Libya, while in 1982 the OAU cancelled its scheduled conference in Tripoli to prevent Gaddafi gaining chairmanship. Some African states, such as Jerry Rawlings' Ghana and Thomas Sankara's Burkina Faso, nevertheless had warm relations with Libya during the 1980s. Proposing political unity with Morocco, in August 1984, Gaddafi and Moroccan monarch Hassan II signed the Oujda Treaty, forming the Arab–African Union; such a union was considered surprising due to the strong political differences and longstanding enmity that existed between the two governments. Relations remained strained, particularly due to Morocco's friendly relations with the US and Israel; in August 1986, Hassan abolished the union.
It is also known that his regime tortured and murdered former officer Umar Muhayshi in January 1984 who survived more than one assassination attempt.
In the 1980s, the Reagan Administration implemented sanctions against Gaddafi. Several other countries would follow suit. Gaddafi also faced growing opposition within his own borders as well during this time period, mostly from militant Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood. In response, security forces raided mosques believed to be centers of counter-revolutionary preaching. In October 1993, elements of the increasingly marginalized army initiated a failed coup in Misrata, while in September 1995, Islamists launched an insurgency in Benghazi, and in July 1996 an anti-Gaddafist football riot broke out in Tripoli. The Revolutionary Committees experienced a resurgence to combat these Islamists.
Gaddafi claimed responsibility for the Lockerbie bombing of December 1988.
In 1991, he met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and demanded Pakistan sell nuclear weapons to Libya. After Sharif refused, urging economic ties, Gaddafi insulted him by calling him a "corrupt politician", prompting Sharif to remove the Libyan ambassador to Pakistan, cancelling further talks until 1993 after Sharif resigned.
Muammar Gaddafi was the intellectual author and key financier of the brutal war that left hundreds of thousands dead in Sierra Leone in West Africa in the 1990s perpetrated by Charles Taylor (currently imprisoned in Frankland). The war would not have happened in the first place had it not been for the desire of the Libyan leader to punish the rebel government of Sierra Leone.
When Al-Qaeda perpetrated the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, Gaddafi publicly condemned their actions and attempted to rebuild relations with the United States. However, with the beginning of the War on Terror and the US' subsequent invasion of both Afghanistan and Iraq, Gaddafi rescinded his attempts to reconcile with the US, believing that this was the wrong way to handle the situation. His stance on this only got stronger as the wars dragged on through the years.
Six days after the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003 by United States troops, Gaddafi renounced Tripoli's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcomed international inspections to verify that he would follow through on the commitment. A leading advocate for the United States of Africa, he served as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) from February 2nd, 2009 to January 31st, 2010. In August 2010, he traveled to Italy and lectured on Islam to 500 women, giving them a copy of the Qur'an. One of the attendees said that the meeting was like a kind of catechesis and that Gaddafi told her that the first step towards Islamizing Europe was Turkey's entry into the European Union.
In February 2011, following revolutions in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia, protests against Gaddafi's rule began. These escalated into an uprising that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing a government based in Benghazi named the National Transitional Council (NTC). Gaddafi and his sons responded with violence and brutality with his forces using knives and heavy weapons against unarmed protesters, mass rapes were also committed by their forces. They were also about to commit a genocide in Benghazi which caused NATO to intervene. Mohammed Nabbous, who focused on drawing international attention to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Libya during the war, was allegedly shot in the head by a sniper shortly after covering the Gaddafi's government ceasefire declaration in March 2011.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone held accountable for his role as the financial perpetrator of the massacres under the Foday Sankoh regime that caused around 50,000 deaths in the country, David M. Crane, the court's founding prosecutor , alleged that Gaddafi trained, financed weapons and sent soldiers based on his bad relationship with the country based on a boycott led by Siaka Stevens, Charles Taylor ensured the participation of Colonel Libio, Crane claimed that his calls for justice were not heeded due to that the West improved its ties with Gaddafi. This led to the 2011 Libyan Civil War, which included a military intervention by a NATO-led coalition to enforce a UN Security Council Resolution 1973 calling for a no-fly zone and protection of civilians in Libya. The assets of Gaddafi and his family were frozen, and both Interpol and the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on June 27th for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, concerning crimes against humanity.
Gaddafi and his forces lost the Battle of Tripoli in August, and on September 16th, 2011 the NTC took Libya's seat at the UN, replacing Gaddafi. He retained control over parts of Libya, most notably the city of Sirte, to which it was presumed that he had fled. Although Gaddafi's forces initially held out against the NTC's advances, Gaddafi was captured alive in a drainage tunnel as Sirte fell to the rebel forces on Thursday the October 20th, 2011 when he tried to escape from Libya. He was brutally beaten, slashed, shot several times, and sodomized to an inch of his life by enraged and vengeful rebels before finally being killed by an unidentified rebel with a gunshot to the head. It was reported that during the flogging, Gaddafi, who had once been the most feared man in Libya for over 4 decades, was pleading for mercy and begging for his life. His son Mutassim as well as Abu Bakr Yunus Jabr, the Defense Minister of Libya under him, were captured and killed alongside him. His death was filmed and shown on news programs. After his death, their bodies were denied an Islamic funeral (which calls for the bodies to be buried within 24 hours), stored in a freezer for 5 days, and buried in unmarked graves in the Libyan desert to ensure that a shrine could not be built.
Since Gaddafi's death, Libya's central government has effectively collapsed and civil war has continued to rage in Libya as various factions fight against each other to gain control of the country. Several factions of pro-Gaddafi loyalists have been formed over the years in attempts to restore the Jamahiriya, with no success.
- He shares the same fate as former Liberian dictator Samuel Doe since they were both Africans and led a coup and died a similar state on camera.
- He was good friends with Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.
- In the 1980s, he embarked in building the Great Manmade River, a water irrigation system in Libya to bring clean water to much of the desert. After the war, some of it was damaged, causing a drought in certain areas of Libya.
- Sacha Baron Cohen's alter-ego General Aladeen from the 2012 film The Dictator was based on him. As he was still alive at the time of production, the promotion of the film claimed it was based on a romantic novel by Saddam Hussein.
- Gaddafi trained future President of Liberia Charles Taylor as a guerrilla fighter in the early 1980s.
- There are over 100 spelling variations of Gaddafi's name. Among these are "Muammar Qaddafi", "Mu'Ammar el-Qathafi", "Mo'ammar Gadhafi", "Muammar al-Qaddafi", "Muhammar Gheddafi", "Moammar Kazzafi", "Muammar al-Khaddafi", "Mu'ammar al-Qadhdhafi", "Moamar aI-Kadafi", and "Moammar Khadaffy", among others.
- He was alleged to have an admiration of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to the point where he kept a portrait of her.
- Along with the Assads of Syria, Gaddafi has the unique distinction of being admired by individuals on both the far-left and the far-right. The far-left praised Gaddafi for his socialist-style policies (modeled after the Soviet Union) and anti-imperialistic stance, whereas the far-right praised him for his stance on Israel and his promotion of Anti-Semitism.
- One of the rebels who killed him later was later kidnapped and murdered by a couple regime supporters in France about a year later.
- When NATO intervened in Libya in 2011, Turkey, under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was reluctant to act, only urging Gaddafi to step down months later.