SUCCESS OF THE 1969 LIBYAN COUP OR REVOLUTION

SUCCESS OF THE 1969 LIBYAN COUP OR REVOLUTION
  • The moral, financial and military assistance extended to the free-Unionist officers of Libya from Egypt made it very easy for Ghadafi to overrun the government of King Idris.
  • The charismatic character of Ghadafi; was eloquent, strong and determined on top of being ambitious, these combined the revolution had to succeed.




  • The revolutionists were no doubt schemers; they timed 1st and 2nd September 1969 when Idris was on a state visit to Turkey at the same time on 2.nd sept. 1969 a number of young officers were prepared to go abroad for more military training. All these events made the revolutionists easily overrun the government of Idris.
  • The weakness of the army; – it was ill-equipped, poorly trained and small in number. At the same time the army had just suffered in the six days war against Isreal, such class of disorganization and exhaustion was exploited by the free unionist officers to carry out a successful revolution.
  • The mass support accorded to the revolutionists made them easily succeed; they were welcomed as saviors of the crumbling state. This situation left Idris with no option but to vacate, the political vacuum left was filled by the revolutionalies.
  • The good planning strategy, Ghadafi took a time plan of about 10yrs; he befriended a number of militants like major Jalloud who helped him carry out a successful revolution in 1969.




  • The unpopularity of king Idris, he was a stooge (puppet) to the West, so uncompromising on sensitive issues which bore a spirit of nationalism and by 1969 the revolutionalist had got a cause for a coup and with the mass support the coup was a success.
  • The discipline exhibited by the revolutionists, they denounced alcohol, gambling, fornication and adultery. Most of their time was spent in prayers. This brought them closer to the people, understood their problems and promised them positive changes. This explains why the FUOM were massively supported.
  • The high degree of secrecy made the revolution succeed in 1969 for example during leisure they played indoor games, and used much of the nights for planning strategies. It is not surprising that the government was caught unaware and hence easily overrun.
  • The capture of Radio Benghazi was a step further leading to the success of the revolution. It helped in the spread of revolutionary propaganda that gave hope to the masses.
  • The creation of a signal system, this innovation made it easy to command, coordinate activities of the coup plotters without being noticed.




  • The free unionist officers used women as spies; these easily fed them with the right information making their plans succeed. Women also prepared food and acted as nurses, such boosted the activities of revolutionaries.
    Note; It’s not surprising that after taking over power Ghadafi relied more on women dominating almost all sectors of his government.

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