When the Arab Spring began in 2010, everyone easily guessed that the Arab world was not going to remain the same. What no one would have ever guessed was that it would lead to the end of the reign and ultimately, the life of Muammar Gaddafi. He was a Libyan revolutionary leader and politician who ruled the country from 1969 to 2011 when he was ousted following a violent protest that has led the country to a civil war that now seems unending.
Life of Muammar Gaddafi
The former Libyan ruler was born Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi in 1942 in Tripoli, Western Libya. He was brought up alongside his three sisters by their parents, Aisha and Mohammad Abdul Salam bin Hamed bin Mohammad who was a goat and camel herder.
Born at a time when his country was under colonial influence, it became something that would be a part of him as he grew. Following the Invasion of Italy in 1911, it was revealed that his grandfather was killed and when he was 6, he was wounded in the arm by a land mine that was left over from the conflict between Italian and British troops years before then. Two of his cousins lost their lives from the explosion.
Like most other kids where he was born, his earliest education was in the religious form before he attended elementary school in Sirte. After he was through, he moved with his family to Sabha in Fezzan where he attended secondary school.
As a young man growing up, Muammar Gaddafi was keen on politics and improving the lives of the people of Libya and this got him to consume as many political materials on revolution as possible. Before too long, he was not only taking part in demonstrations but was also organizing them. Because of his activities, he got expelled from Sabha. This forced him to move to Misrata where he continued his education at the Misrata Secondary School. One significant thing is that he still continued with his nationalist activism, while at the same time, refusing to be a part of any political party because according to him, he was against factionalism.
When he was finally done, he moved to the University of Libya but soon dropped out to join the Royal Military Academy. The main reason why he joined the military was that he felt it was going to help in bringing the political change he wanted to see. In 1964, he founded the Free Officers Movement alongside other military officers. He would use the movement in 1969 to carry out a bloodless coup that took out King Idris I and then installed him as the new leader. He subsequently found the Libyan Arab Republic.
How Did He Die?
Since taking over power, Muammar Gaddafi introduced a lot of changes in the country, but at the same time, he took on many battles with the western world. In the years that followed, his government was accused of corruption and insensitivity to the plight of the masses as unemployment and poverty grew.
When the Arab Spring began in Tunisia in 2011, Gaddafi made some quick changes including purging the army leadership and reducing the price of food. Unfortunately, this was not enough to prevent the coming protest that broke out on February 17, 2011. Before too long, the protest went violent with the army killing many protesters.
Contrary to the belief of many that Gaddafi was going to flee, he remained in the country, promising to die as a martyr. Following accusations of human rights abuses as a result of the killing of unarmed citizens, other forces including NATO rose up against his government, carrying out airstrikes one of which led to the death of one of his sons, Saif al-Arab Gaddafi.
When the revolution began, the National Transitional Council (NTC) was formed to oust Muammar Gaddafi. With the help of NATO, NTC forced Gaddafi out of Tripoli. Having lost the capital, he was ready to negotiate a handover, but that was rejected by the NTC.
As he fled, his convoy was attacked by NATO forces forcing him to hide in a drainage where he was captured by Misrata militia. The former leader was filmed being poked by protesters with sticks and what looked like knives in the anus. Forced onto a truck, Gaddafi fell off as it drove away. Before he was brought to Misrata, Gadaffi was already dead on 20 October 2011. Many of his loyalists including his son, Mutassim Gaddafi was also killed. According to the official statement of the NTC, the former leader was caught in a cross-fire, and he died of bullet wounds.
What Was His Net Worth?
At the time of his death, Muammar Gaddafi was said to have had a net worth of more than $200 billion. According to the reports, Muammar had his fortune in banks, real estate, and other investments all over the world. This means that at the time of his death, he was richer than Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Carlos Slim put together, who were at the time considered the richest in the world based on Forbes ranking which does not include rulers and dictators on its list.