26 Facts About Muammar Gaddafi

1. Muammar Gaddafi was the de facto leader of Libya from 1969 to 2011, first as Revolutionary Chairman of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then as the "Brotherly Leader" of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011.

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2. Muammar Gaddafi transformed Libya into a new socialist state called a Jamahiriya in 1977.

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3. From 1999, Muammar Gaddafi shunned pan-Arabism, and encouraged pan-Africanism and rapprochement with Western nations; he was Chairperson of the African Union from 2009 to 2010.

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4. In 1971, Muammar Gaddafi sponsored the creation of a Libyan General Women's Federation.

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5. Nasser died unexpectedly in September 1970, with Muammar Gaddafi playing a prominent role at his funeral.

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6. In June 1972 Muammar Gaddafi created the First Nasserite Volunteers Centre to train anti-Israeli guerrillas.

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7. On 16 April 1973, Muammar Gaddafi proclaimed the start of a "Popular Revolution" in a speech at Zuwarah.

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8. In June 1973, Muammar Gaddafi created a political ideology as a basis for the Popular Revolution: Third International Theory.

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9. Muammar Gaddafi summarized Third International Theory in three short volumes published between 1975 and 1979, collectively known as The Green Book.

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10. In September 1975, Muammar Gaddafi purged the army, arresting around 200 senior officers, and in October he founded the clandestine Office for the Security of the Revolution.

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11. Intent on propagating Islam, in 1973 Muammar Gaddafi founded the Islamic Call Society, which had opened 132 centres across Africa within a decade.

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12. Muammar Gaddafi sought to develop closer links in the Maghreb; in January 1974 Libya and Tunisia announced a political union, the Arab Islamic Republic.

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13. Retaliating, Muammar Gaddafi sponsored anti-government militants in Tunisia into the 1980s.

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14. Muammar Gaddafi became General Secretary of the GPC, although he stepped down from this position in early 1979 and appointed himself "Leader of the Revolution".

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15. In recognition of the growing commercial relationship between Libya and the Soviets, Muammar Gaddafi was invited to visit Moscow in December 1976; there, he entered talks with Leonid Brezhnev.

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16. In December 1978, Muammar Gaddafi stepped down as Secretary-General of the GPC, announcing his new focus on revolutionary rather than governmental activities; this was part of his new emphasis on separating the apparatus of the revolution from the government.

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17. 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 Muammar Gaddafi gaining chairmanship.

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18. Muammar Gaddafi played up his commercial relationship with the Soviets, revisiting Moscow in 1981 and 1985, and threatening to join the Warsaw Pact.

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19. Several assassination attempts against Muammar Gaddafi were foiled, and in turn, 1989 saw the security forces raid mosques believed to be centres of counter-revolutionary preaching.

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20. In 1989, Muammar Gaddafi was overjoyed by the foundation of the Arab Maghreb Union, uniting Libya in an economic pact with Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, viewing it as beginnings of a new pan-Arab union.

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21. When Muammar Gaddafi refused, citing the Montreal Convention, the United Nations imposed Resolution 748 in March 1992, initiating economic sanctions against Libya which had deep repercussions for the country's economy.

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22. At the third AU summit, held in Tripoli, Libya, in July 2005, Muammar Gaddafi called for greater integration, advocating a single AU passport, a common defence system, and a single currency, utilizing the slogan: "The United States of Africa is the hope.

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23. In March 2008 in Uganda, Muammar Gaddafi gave a speech urging Africa to reject foreign aid.

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24. In October 2010, Muammar Gaddafi apologized to African leaders for the historical enslavement of Africans by the Arab slave trade.

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25. In 2004, Muammar Gaddafi traveled to the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels—signifying improved relations between Libya and the EU—and the EU dropped its sanctions on Libya.

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26. Muammar Gaddafi welcomed these reforms, calling for wide-scale privatization in a March 2003 speech; he promised that Libya would join the World Trade Organization.

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