Monday 22 January 2018

The life of a tyrant: Gaddafi’s 42-year reign

Sam Lister

An outline of the life of deposed Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi:

1942 - Muammar Gaddafi is born to a Bedouin family in desert land near Sirte.

1969 - He sweeps to power aged 27 after leading a military coup that deposed King Idris.

1970 - Gaddafi orders Italian-owned property to be nationalised and closes Britain's Tobruk airbase.

1977 - Declaring a "people's revolution", he changes the country's name from the Libyan Arab Republic to the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah.

1984 - The UK breaks off diplomatic relations with Gaddafi's regime after the shooting of policewoman Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London.

1988 - The bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie kills 270 people and four years later the UN imposes sanctions after Libya refuses to hand over suspects.

1999 - Suspects in the bombing are handed over for trial and sanctions are suspended.

2003 - Gaddafi agrees a deal worth £1.7 billion to compensate families of the Lockerbie victims and later renounces weapons of mass destruction programmes, helping to seal his reacceptance into the international community.

2004 - Prime Minister Tony Blair meets Gaddafi in Tripoli, the first British premier to visit since 1943.

2009 - Gaddafi calls for a United States of Africa after being elected chairman of the African Union. In September of that year he holds celebrations to mark 40 years in power.

2011 - As the Arab Spring erupts, Gaddafi insists he will not quit but by August he is forced to flee his luxury palace. While on the run he sends a number of messages vowing to fight on and urges supporters to take on the National Transitional Council in their "millions".

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