Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi

at Sunday, May 22, 2011
Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi born 7 June 1942, commonly referred to as Colonel Gaddafi, is a Libyan politician and revolutionary, who has been the ruler of Libya since a military coup on 1 September 1969, when he overthrew King Idris and established the Libyan Arab Republic.

Muammar al-Gaddafi was born in a bedouin tent in the desert near Sirt in 1942. His family belongs to a small tribe of arabized Berbers, the Qadhadhfa, who are stockherders with holdings in the Hun Oasis.

Gaddafi entered the Libyan military academy at Benghazi in 1961 and, along with most of his colleagues from the Revolutionary Command Council, graduated in the 1965 - 1966 period. Gaddafi's association with the Free Officers Movement began as a cadet. The frustration and shame felt by Libyan officers who stood by helplessly at the time of Israel's swift and humiliating defeat of Arab armies on three fronts in 1967 fueled their determination to contribute to Arab unity by overthrowing the monarchy. An early conspirator, Gaddafi began his first plan to overthrow the monarchy while in military college.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Libya under Gaddafi was considered a pariah state by the West, which alleged oppression of internal dissidence, acts of state-sponsored terrorism, assassinations of expatriate opposition leaders, and crass nepotism exhibited in amassing a multi-billion-dollar fortune for himself and his family. Gaddafi was a firm supporter of OAPEC and led a Pan-African campaign for a United States of Africa. After the 1986 Bombing of Libya and the 1993 imposition of United Nations sanctions, Gaddafi established closer economic and security relations with the west, cooperated with investigations into previous Libyan acts of state-sponsored terrorism and paid compensation, and ended his nuclear weapons program, resulting in the lifting of UN sanctions in 2003.

In early February 2011, major political protests, inspired by recent protests in Tunisia, Egypt and other parts of the Arab world, broke out in Libya against Gaddafi's government and turned into a civil war. Gaddafi vowed to "die a martyr" if necessary in his fight against the rebels and external forces.
On 17 May 2011 the International Criminal Court issued a request for an arrest warrant against Gaddafi for crimes against humanity.


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