Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s Autocratic Ruler for 42 years killed in Sirte
International Current Affairs 2011. Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for over 40 years, was killed on 20 October 2011 while trying to flee from his hometown, Sirte.
Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for over 40 years, was killed on 20 October 2011 while trying to flee from his hometown, Sirte. Muammar Gaddafi ruled Libya autocratically for 42 years after coming to power in a coup.
Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi was born to nomadic parents in the desert region of Sirte in 1942. He went to study history at the University of Libya in 1961 and then entered the Benghazi Military Academy. He remained the autocratic ruler of Libya from 1969, when he seized power in a bloodless military coup that overthrew King Idris I until 2011 when his government was overthrown in a civil war. His 42-year rule prior to the uprising made him the fourth longest-ruling non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-ruling Arab leader.
He pinned several titles to himself- the Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution, in 2008 a meeting of traditional African rulers bestowed on him the title King of Kings.
After seizing power in 1969, he abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951 and civil liberties enshrined in it. He imposed laws based on the political ideology which he had formulated and called it the Third International Theory. He also published The Green Book.
The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state. In the 1980s, countries around the world imposed sanctions against Gaddafi. A leading advocate for a United States of Africa, he served as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) from 2 February 2009 to 31 January 2010.
2011 Libyan Civil War
Following revolutions in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia, protests against Gaddafi's rule began in February 2011. Soon an uprising that spread across the country, with the forces opposing Gaddafi establishing a government based in Benghazi named the National Transitional Council (NTC). 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 International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants on 27 June 2011 for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, head of state security for charges, concerning crimes against humanity.
In August, rebel forces engaged in a coastal offensive and took most of their lost territory, and captured the capital city of Tripoli. Gaddafi evaded capture and loyalists engaged in a rearguard campaign. He remained in hiding until 20 October 2011, when he was captured and killed in Sirte.