Top 5 Most Ruthless African Dictators That Ever Lived

Fredrick Ngugi May 12, 2017

4. Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya (1969-2011)

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. Photo credit: Africa Metro

Commonly referred to as “Colonel Gaddafi,” Muammar Gaddafi was a Libyan revolutionary politician and president who ruled the North African country from 1969 to 2011, when he was assassinated.

Initially, he was ideologically committed to Arab nationalism and socialism, but later came to rule according to his own Third International Theory.

Gaddafi was born in 1942 in Sirte to a poor Bedouin family and became an Arab nationalist while at school in Sabha.

In 1963, he joined the Royal Military Academy in Benghazi, where he founded a revolutionary cell that helped him carry out a successful coup against the Western-backed Senussi monarchy of Idris in 1969.

Although he was widely celebrated for his anti-imperialist stance and firm support for Arab and African unity, Gaddafi was also accused of authoritarianism, corruption, and abuse of human rights. He was also regarded as one of the biggest financiers of global terrorism.

He was assassinated by Islamic militants during the 2011 Arab Spring.


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