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Muammar Gaddafi

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Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi[1] (Arabic: مُعَمَّر القَذَّافِي‎ Muʿammar al-Qaḏḏāfī audio (help·info);[variations] born 7 June 1942), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi /ˈmoʊ.əmɑr ɡəˈdɑːfi/ or Colonel Gaddafi, was the autocratic ruler of Libya from 1969, when he seized power in a military coup, to August 2011, when his regime collapsed. In August 2011, as a result of the 2011 Libyan civil war and the creation of the National Transitional Council, his government lost most of Libya by a NATO-backed opposition force. By the end of August 2011 Gaddafi had lost almost all domestic and international political recognition as well as the majority of Libyan territory. His 42-year rule prior to the Civil War makes him the fourth longest-ruling non-royal leader since 1900, as well as the longest-ruling Arab leader.[2] He variously styled himself as 'the Brother Leader', 'Guide of the Revolution' and the 'King of Kings'.

After seizing power in 1969, he abolished the Libyan Constitution of 1951 and imposed laws based on his political ideology.[3] Gaddafi formulated an ideology, calling it the Third International Theory and publishing it in The Green Book.[4][5] Gaddafi and his relatives took over much of the economy. Gaddafi started several wars, had a role in others, and acquired chemical weapons. The United Nations called Libya under Gaddafi a pariah state.[6][7] In the 1980s, countries around the world imposed sanctions against Gaddafi.[8] Six days after the capture of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by United States troops,[9] Gaddafi renounced Tripoli’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and welcomed international inspections to verify that he would follow through on the commitment.[10] A leading advocate for a United States of Africa, he served as Chairperson of the African Union (AU) from 2 February 2009 to 31 January 2010.

During Gaddafi's period of rule many of Libya's human development indicators improved significantly. By 2010, Libya had the highest GDP per capita,[11] Education Index,[12] and Human Development Index[13] in Africa as well as some of the best health indicators in the continent.[14][15][16]

In February 2011, early in the Arab Spring, a protest movement spread across Libya. Gaddafi responded by dispatching military and plainclothes paramilitary to the streets to attack demonstrators. The unrest quickly spiraled out of control and deteriorated into a civil war.[17][18][19] On 23 August 2011, Gaddafi lost control of Tripoli, and effective control of Libya with the rebels' capture of the Bab al-Azizia compound.

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on 27 June 2011 for Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his brother-in-law Abdullah al-Senussi, concerning crimes against humanity.[1][20][21] Interpol has also issued an arrest warrant for him for crimes against humanity.[22] The United Kingdom, United States, Germany and France have recently unfrozen total amount of US$6.6 billion of his assets and assigned them in humanitarian aid for Libya.[23][24