On September 1 1969, Gaddafi and the rest of the Free Officer's Movement moved into Tripoli to overthrow the monarchy. However, unknown to them, King Idris had returned to Libya early from medical treatment. He had returned to Tripoli, a strange event considering he mostly hid away in Tobruq near a British military base. On the day of the coup, Idris was warned of tanks coming the way of the palace. When the rebel army officers entered, Idris ordered his bodyguards to open fire.
Among the seventy military officers, thirty died due to lack of sufficient arms. The remaining number of rebels were arrested, and Muammar Gaddafi was imprisoned without bail, awaiting trial.
King Idris began to understand the true scope of his corruption as news of the failed coup reached the people of Libya. Rioting and protests in favor of the Free Officers filled the streets of Tripoli, even after King Idris's abdication in favor of the Crown Prince Hasan I. After twenty days of brutal crackdown on protestors, King Hasan finally gave in to many of the protestor demands. Much of the oil wealth Libya helmed would be put into improving infrastructure and education, and Gaddafi would be released. Much of the protesting died down following the announcement of these reforms, but many in Tripolitania and Fezzan still disapproved of the monarchy.
By 1980, oil production in Libya has greatly expanded, literacy had reached 64%, and Tripoli was growing into a bustling sea port. However, citizens in Fezzan were growing ever disapproving. Muammar Gaddafi, unbeknownst to most, had been exiled to the region. King Hasan had focused on industrializing the northern half of Libya to encourage tourism, and had so far succeeded in his mission. Few ever visited Fezzan, and not many resources existed in the region, making it a low priority for the Libyan economy. Rebellion was brewing, and Gaddafi, a visionary for many young Fezzans, was the figurehead.
Gaddafi, who believed the real reason Fezzan was suffering was because of the high US and UK influence on the nation, evident from their appeal to young Libyans and the staggering number of oil rigs and military bases. Muammar believed that if Libya were to expel these "western imperialists", Libya could become a newfound world power founded on democracy and Pan-Arabism. Gaddafi's vision for Libya was impossible, but it appealed to many in the poverty-stricken Fezzan.
In 1982, Muammar Gaddafi gathered rebellious soldiers in Murzuk and Sabha, much like he did almost fifteen years ago, and promptly marched on the capital, Sabha. The local government was toppled within hours by a force numbering at over two hundred, and Muammar Gaddafi made a now infamous, short speech from the Local Government Office.
"The Libyan people of Fezzan have spoken. No longer will we stand for a government that appeals to the western dogs. No longer will we stand for the monarchy that neglects the peasants. Allahu Akbar!"
Following this short speech, of which he would make many more during the ensuing rebellion, Gaddafi declared the Provisional Libyan Arab Republic in Fezzan, with its capital in Sabha. King Hasan sent one thousand troops to crush the rebellion. Many nations, including Italy and France, condemned this troop shipment as overkill. Strangely enough, Gaddafi's forces held out for twenty-seven days before Sabha fell and Gaddafi was promptly executed. To prevent Gaddafi's martyrdom from developing further, King Hasan began programs to develop projects to increase development in Fezzan, culminating in the successful bidding for the World Cup in 2010, during which Libya suffered a massive defeat in their first match against South Korea.
In 1992, King Hasan died, and was succeeded by Muhammad I. Muhammad furthered the Fezzan development plans of his father, by drilling new oil rigs and advocating the establishment of a government-funded luxury hotel in Mizruk (which failed miserably and cost the monarchy millions). Muhammad also expanded the powers of the monarch, by becoming independent from parliament (which he had reformed as the National Congress), similar to the American president. King Muhammad's approval ratings are staggeringly high for a Libyan monarch, at 74.2% as of 2012. However, who will be the heir to the Libyan throne is a legitimate concern among the royal family, as Muhammad has not married during his reign.
Recently in early 2011, Fezzan voted on autonomy, similar to that of the Russian republics. The vote passed with a two and a half point lead. On August 1 2012, the Autonomous Republic of Fezzan was declared, and a short impromptu presidential election is being held that will end on August 31. Similar votes on autonomous Libyan republics may come to light in the future.
Libyan Broadcasting Channel (LBC) - البث الليبية قناة (AAG)
Mutassim Gaddafi, one of the many children of the late revolutionary Muammar Gaddafi, has won the Presidential Election in the Autonomous Libyan Republic of Fezzan. President-elect Gaddafi's political platform was to hold a Fezzan independence referendum and establish a jamirihiya system of government. While many voted for Mutassim, Fezzan citizens are still uneasy about independence, as the GDP of the republic comes in at only 976 million USD, ranking just below The Gambia and just above Guinea-Bassau. Also, resources are severely limited. Many only elected Mutassim because of his universal healthcare plan and the promise of free housing for all citizens, though it is unknown how Gaddafi will get these funds.
In a radio address to the nation today, King Muhammad has announced that Libya will bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Originally, it had been discussed to instead bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics, but the weather conditions would've made the games unbearable.
Today, the Autonomous Republic of Fezzan has been declared. Muammar Al-Gaddafi, was a villain and a traitor to many in Libya, but in Fezzan, the long-dead revolutionary has quite the following. In one of his many speeches, Gaddafi suggested that if the Libyan monarchy occupies Fezzan, they should declare independence in order to keep the idea of anti-capitalism and Pan-Arabism alive. Now, following in his footsteps, the people of Fezzan are one step closer to independence from the kingdom. A president is due to be elected by the end of the month. The three official candidates are Mutassim Gaddafi of the Independent Jamahiriya Party and one of Gaddafi's children, Ahmad Jibril of the Liberal Party, and Mustafah Al-Majidi of the Socialist Party.