muammar gaddafi

LIBYA. Tripoli. August 1981. Gaddafi attends a graduation at the women’s military academy. The academy opened in 1979 during Gaddafi’s push to include women in Libya’s armed forces.

Col. Gaddafi liked to lecture his fellow Arab rulers on women’s rights, despite his involvement in sex trafficking operations.

Photograph: Christine Spengler/Sygma/Corbis

Senior Trump official drew plan to divide Libya on napkin for horrified European diplomat

  • During a meeting with a senior European diplomat, senior White House official Sebastian Gorka reportedly drew up an alarming proposal to split Libya into three parts.
  • The map Gorka drew divides Libya back into the Ottoman-era territories of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania and Fezzan, the Guardian reported. The European diplomat allegedly responded by saying it would be “the worst solution” for Libya.
  • Since the violent revolution that overthrew Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been torn between two factions supporting entirely separate governments. On one side of the new civil war is the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord, and on the other is a faction led by General Khalifa Haftar. With no clear end in sight, world powers like Russia and Turkey have been stepping up to offer support for one side or the other. Read more. (4/10/2017 11:17 AM)

September 1st 1969: Gaddafi’s coup

On this day in 1969, a military coup placed Muammar Gaddafi in power in Libya, beginning a brutal dictatorship which would last forty-two years. Coming from a poor background, Gaddafi rose through the ranks of the Libyan military, ultimately reaching the position of Colonel. It was in this capacity that he led a band of revolutionaries who toppled King Idris in a bloodless coup, resulting in Colonel Gaddafi becoming Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, which promptly dissolved the monarchy. Gaddafi believed strongly in Arab nationalism and Islamic socialism, making Islamic shariah law the basis of Libya’s legal system. Gaddafi’s regime violated the human rights of Libyan citizens, such as his open use of torture, and alienated the international community with his alleged support of terrorism. In 2011, after forty-two years of the Gaddafi regime, forces opposed to his rule led an uprising amid the Arab Spring. NATO intervened to support anti-Gaddafi forces, and ultimately his government was toppled, with Gaddafi himself being killed by rebels while hiding in Sirte in October 2011.

With Col. Gaddafi dead, Condeleeza Rice recounts his strange obsession with her.

In 2008 Rice was due to meet Gaddafi in Africa. She was invited to have the meeting in his private tent there, which was considered in Libya to be the highest honor Gaddafi could have bestowed, however Rice felt uncomfortable after hearing rumors from her advisers that the Colonel had a strange obsession with her and declined. Instead they met and had the meeting in his home. Gaddafi was apparently confused and asked why his “African Princess” refused his offer.

After the meeting, the US representatives were invited to dinner in Gaddafi’s kitchen. All seemed pleasantly normal until Gaddafi asked Rice to look at a video he had made for her. It was a collection of photographs of Rice meeting different world leaders, with a song playing in the background that Gaddafi had ordered a Libyan composer to write for her, apparently entitled ‘Black Rose in the White House’. “It was insanely bizarre and awkward,” Rice said, “But I was just relieved it wasn’t raunchy or something.”

Aside from this incident, Gaddafi also had an album in his home made up entirely of photographs of Rice, and insisted when she visited on called her 'Leeza’, a nickname he had apparently made up. He also presented her with a diamond ring, a lute, a golden locket with his likeness engraved inside, and an inscribed edition of 'The Green Book’, Gaddafi’s personal political manifesto. All together his gifts came to $212,000.

A dry erase board hangs on a classroom wall, scarred and ruptured by shelling, in the city of Sirte in Libya. A lone destroyed student desk also remains. Much of the city, the final stronghold of former Government forces, was destroyed during the weeks-long fighting there.

In February 2012, Libya marked the one-year anniversary of the beginning of its civil war between the former Government and rebel forces of the National Transitional Council. Concluding in October 2011 with the overthrow of late former leader Muammar Gaddafi, the war destroyed much of the country’s vital infrastructure and killed thousands of people, displaced more than 200,000 and forced over 660,000 Libyans to seek refuge abroad. Since the end of the 10-month conflict, Libya has made significant strides toward recovery, including the progressive return of displaced people and refugees to their places of origin. Over 1.2 million children have returned to school. Still, the country remains in a state of transition, and public infrastructure and services have yet to be fully restored. Up to 80,000 people remain displaced; many, including former residents of the now destroyed city of Tawergha, are believed to have had associations with the former Government and, as a result, continue to endure attacks that only delay or prohibit their return home. Initiatives to clear unexploded ordinance (UXO) and explosive remnants of war (ERW), including landmines, are underway, but many areas are still unreached; in the two months following the conflict, five children were killed and 56 injured in still contaminated areas. And, many children continue to bear the psychological scars of the violence they have witnessed. UNICEF, in coordination with the Government and other partners, is supporting programmes in water, sanitation and hygiene; education; psychosocial support; and child protection, including workshops to educate children of the risks related to UXO and ERW.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-0171/Giovanni Diffidenti