Libyans Protesting In Dublin
Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi (born 7 June 1942), commonly referred to as Colonel Gaddafi, has been the leader of Libya since a military coup on 1 September 1969 where he overthrew King Idris of Libya and established the Libyan Arab Republic.
His 42 years in power made him one of the longest-serving rulers in history.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Gaddafi's government was considered a pariah state by the West, denounced for oppressing internal dissidence, acts of state-sponsored terrorism, assassinations of expatriate opposition leaders, and crass nepotism which amassed a multi-billion dollar fortune for himself and his family.
Gaddafi renamed the Libyan Arab Republic to Jamahiriya in 1977, based on his socialist and nationalist political philosophy published in Green Book. In 1979, he relinquished the title of prime minister, and was thereafter called "The Brother Leader" or "The Guide" in Libya's Socialist Revolution.
Gaddafi was a firm supporter of OAPEC and led a Pan-African campaign for a United States of Africa. After the 1986 Bombing of Libya and the 1993 imposition of United Nations sanctions, Gaddafi established closer economic and security relations with the west, cooperated with investigations into previous Libyan acts of state-sponsored terrorism and paid compensation, and ended his nuclear weapons program, resulting in the lifting of UN sanctions in 2003.
In early February 2011, major political protests, inspired by recent pro-democracy events in Tunisia, Egypt and other parts of the Arab world, broke out in Libya against Gaddafi's government and quickly turned into a general uprising. Gaddafi vowed to "die a martyr" if necessary in his fight against the rebels and external forces.
In 1976 after a series of attacks by the Provisional IRA, Gaddafi announced that "the bombs which are convulsing Britain and breaking its spirit are the bombs of Libyan people. We have sent them to the Irish revolutionaries so that the British will pay the price for their past deeds".[
In April 1984, Libyan refugees in London protested the execution of two dissidents. Libyan diplomats shot at 11 people and killed a British policewoman. The incident led to the cessation of diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Libya for over a decade. An alleged plot by Britain's Secret Intelligence Service to assassinate Gaddafi, when rebels attacked Gaddafi's motorcade near the city of Sirte in February 1996, was denied by former foreign secretary Robin Cook, although the FCO later stated: "We have never denied that we knew of plots against Gaddafi".