On October 20, 2011, Muammar Gaddafi, who ruled Libya with an iron fist for 42 years, was killed. His power seemed unshakable. The colonel believed that the people loved him and that he had enough petrodollars to keep buying that love. At the same time, on the international arena, Gaddafi has done things that are unacceptable to the world community more than once. The culmination was the explosion on December 21, 1988 in the skies over the Scottish town of Lockerbie of a passenger Boeing 747 of the American airline Pan Am, flying No. 103 from London to New York, carried out by agents of the Libyan special services on the orders of Gaddafi. Then 270 people died. Gaddafi was able to achieve the lifting of sanctions when in 2003 Libya recognized the responsibility of its special services for the Lockerbie tragedy and paid compensation to the families of the victims. However, having strengthened the international position of his country, Gaddafi faced increasing problems inside Libya, which eventually led to an uprising. How did it happen that the people’s leader turned into an enemy of the people?
Despite the high level of oil revenues, Libya had high unemployment rates, generated by high population growth rates, which lagged behind the pace of development of high-tech sectors of the economy. The fall in oil revenues in the last years of Gaddafi’s rule made it difficult to combat unemployment and the possibility of raising social benefits.
Gaddafi himself came from Tripolitania, while the Cyrenaica tribes, the mainstay of King Idris, deposed by Gaddafi in the late 60s, were ousted from power, received fewer resources than Gaddafi’s fellow countrymen, and felt like second-class citizens. Up to 80% of oil was produced in Cyrenaica, but the main income from its exports went to Tripolitania… In addition, Gaddafi had very tense relations with some Berber tribes, although he himself was of Berber origin. The fact that exorbitant wealth settled in Gaddafi himself and his children and close relatives, as well as corruption among the dictator’s inner circle, caused discontent among the tribes of Tripolitania – as a result, part of the local elite ended up in the ranks of the rebels.
V corruption perception index Libya during Gaddafi’s time had 22 points (the lowest level of corruption – 100, now Denmark is in 1st place with 88, and Libya, whose indicator has become even worse – 17, is 173rd out of 179 countries). The colonel literally bathed in luxury. He had a gold mermaid sofa, a gold AK-47 submachine gun, a gold watch, a gold golf cart, all the cutlery was made of gold, and even a fly swatter.) All Libyan assets abroad actually owned by Gaddafi were evaluated in 2010 at $ 152 billion.