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20 January 2017
On 22 February 2011, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the long standing dictator of Libya appeared on TV to declare that he was going nowhere, did not care what the people of Libya wanted for their future and that he was planning to become a martyr in his own country. The defiance of Gaddafi was probably not surprising, despite the fact that thousands of Libyans had already been butchered by his sub-Saharan mercenaries. What was really surprising though, was that the need for such a speech from Gaddafi would have been quite unthinkable even only a couple of months earlier. In his speech, he referred to Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak, the former dictators of Tunisia and Egypt, respectively, claiming that he is a different kind of ‘leader’ and would not leave his country as they did in the face of mass demonstrations and public dissent. At the time of writing, Gaddafi was still clinging to power, but probably not for very long before that he is consigned to the bloody pages of history as the third dictator in North Africa, who was removed from power in February 2011.
Published in Political Reflection Magazine Vol. 2 No. 1
About Alp Ozerdem
President of CESRAN International and Chair in Peace-Building, Co-Director of Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University