The mention of Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi sends shivers down the spine of his detractors. Gaddafi, until his death in late 2011 ruled Libya for over four decades after overthrowing King Idris I in 1951.
Most leaders across the globe have been critical of his leadership style, describing it as “cruel”. Several attempts were made to overthrow and assassinate him, but none was successful – the first coming in 1986 when the U.S. ordered a military strike in his compound.
Despite his dark side, Gadaffi had some positives by raising the standard of living of Libyans. Under his rule, per capita income in the country rose to more than $11,000, the fifth-highest in Africa.
Not only did he improve standards of living, Gaddafi’s Libya also boasts one of the best healthcare services in the Middle East and Africa. Education and medical treatments were all free under his watch.
He chalked several significant successes until he was murdered in 2011 after 42 years in power.
In commemoration of Libya’s independence, we look at some facts you probably didn’t know about its former leader, Muammar Gaddafi.