Gaddafi the African

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New York- I appear in this week’s episode of Real Dictators produced by Bristol-based Noiser Podcasts discussing Colonel Gaddafi’s use of international terrorism as a weapon of an asymmetric foreign policy. The episode also looks into his pivot away from pan-Arabism that largely failed him and his petro dollar-laced embrace of pan-Africanism with which he had far more success. Through the decades, Libya’s uncontested leader constantly adapted in order to stay in power. Despite being unpopular in his deeply repressive mukhabarat state at home, he was still managing to win hearts and minds abroad, particularly in Africa south of the Sahara. Well before Gulf monarchies got involved in building Islamic infrastructure in Africa, the Colonel had been busy for years building grand mosques, modern hotels where outsiders were skittish to invest, and hulking monuments. This decidedly north African murderous eccentric bought himself popularity in poor stretches of post-colonial Africa’s interior.

“Gaddafi tje African”A poster in the rear windscreen of taxi in Bamako, Mali for a march in 2011 in solidarity with the late Libyan leader. Well after his gruesome death, Gaddafi still had many admirers well beyond Libya’s southern borderlands. ©2012 Derek Henry Flood
A gaudy hotel complex erected in Bamako with Libya’s oil wealth. ©2012 Derek Henry Flood