Monday, August 29, 2011

Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi

[4] (Arabicمُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي‎ Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī About this sound audio;[variations] born 7 June 1942), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi play /ˈm.əmɑr ɡəˈdɑːfi/, was the de facto autocratic ruler of Libya from 1969 to 2011, after seizing power in a military coup. As a result of the 2011 Libyan civil war and the creation of the National Transitional Council, Gaddafi has become a disputed ruler, losing almost all domestic and international recognition. He abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951, and adopted laws based on his political ideology.[5] His 41 years, 362 days in power have made him the fourth longest-ruling non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-ruling Arab leader.[6] He variously styled himself as 'the Brother Leader', 'Guide of the Revolution' and 'King of Kings'.

After seizing power, Gaddafi proceeded to eliminate any opposition and severely restricted lives of ordinary Libyans. Gaddafi's ideology was termed the Third International Theory and it was described in the Green Book.[7][8] Gaddafi and his relatives took over much of the economy. Gaddafi started several wars, had a role in others, and spent on acquiring both chemical and nuclear weapons. More discreetly, he directed the country's revenues to sponsor terror and other political activities around the world. The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state.[9][10] In the 1980s countries around the world established sanctions against Gaddafi.[11] Six days after Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was captured,[12] Gaddafi renounced Tripoli's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcomed international inspectors to verify that he would follow through on the commitment.[13]

In the wake of Arab Spring in February 2011, a movement demonstrating against Gaddafi spread across the country. Gaddafi responded by dispatching the military and plainclothes armed men on streets to attack demonstrators; however, many switched sides. Gaddafi went into a civil war with the movement.[14][15][16] On August 23, 2011, Gaddafi lost control of Tripoli with the rebel's capture of the Bab al-Azizia compound. Gaddafi's loyalist forces continue warfare in limited locations.[17]

He faces prosecution by the International Criminal Court, which has issued an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity.[18][19] Billions of dollars of his assets have been frozen around the world.

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