|Thursday, 20 October 2011 19:53|
Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was born in 1942 near the desert region of Libya bordering the Mediterranean along the Gulf of Sirte.
Gaddafi entered the Libyan military academy at Benghazi in 1961 and graduated in 1966.
On September 1, 1969, at a time when King Idris had already been in Turkey for several months for health reasons, Gaddafi seized power in a bloodless military coup and proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic.
On gaining power, Gaddafi ordered the shutdown of American and British military bases. In 1973 he nationalised all foreign-owned petroleum assets in the country. His government's support for Islamist groups worldwide brought him into conflict with the United States, and in 1986, US warplanes bombed several sites in Libya.
Gaddafi adopted an anti western, anti imperialism approach that saw him becoming the enemy of the west.
Gaddafi's strong military support and finances however gained him several allies across the African continent.
He served as the head of the AU for a year after being elected to the post in February 2009.
After several years of antagonism between him and the west, their [western leaders and Gaddafi] relations had improved in recent years.
This was however to change when political protests began in Libya in February this year against Gaddafi's government. During the following week, these protests gained significant momentum and size, despite stiff resistance from the Gaddafi government.
The United States, France and NATO interfered in the Libyan uprising targeting Colonel Gaddafi using their airstrikes and killing thousands of civilians in the process.
Colonel Gaddafi remained defiant, continuing to give addresses through radio, calling upon his supporters to crush the rebels.
He was toppled in August by NATO forces after 42 years in power.
Today, Colonel Gaddafi was killed by rebel forces in the morning near his hometown of Sirte.
He will be to many a hero who went down fighting and exposed the west’s decolonising mission in Africa in order to secure the continent’s rich resources, that is oil in the case of Libya.