Tuesday, September 02, 2003

Libya: Gaddafi 34 years in power

September 1 ... Gadaffi celebrated his 34th year in power. He was 27-years-old when he led the coup in 1969.

Officially, Gadaffi hasn't been the leader of Libya since 1977. The full name of the country is "Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya" ... Jamahiriya means that the country is "led by the people".

This article gives a decent (short) biography of the man.

This BBC analysis piece quotes a fair bit from the speech Gadaffi gave on Sunday.
"We liberated South Africa, Zimbabwe, Guinea Bissau, Cap Verde and Angola," he declared. He did not mention his support for the IRA, which was substantial.

"Now we are reaping the fruits of our struggle. Africa is with us, peoples are with us and support us. Our voice is heard and respected," said the Libyan leader.
The entire article is worth reading ... I chose to highlight this bit because I recall somebody asking why Gadaffi enjoys the support of so many African leaders. Well, there's your answer, in his own words. He supported a lot of armed struggles in Africa ... some honourable and some not so honourable.

In the honourable category ... South Africa and the ANC. In the "downright dastardly" category ... Charles Taylor of Liberia.