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Wanis al-Qaddafi

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Wanis al-Qaddafi
ونيس القذافي
Qaddafi in 1968
Prime Minister of Libya
In office
4 September 1968 – 31 August 1969
MonarchIdris of Libya
Preceded byAbdul Hamid al-Bakkoush
Succeeded byMahmud Sulayman al-Maghribi
Foreign Minister of Libya
In office
27 January 1962 – 6 March 1963
Prime MinisterMuhammad Osman Said
Preceded bySulaiman Jerbi
Succeeded byOmar Mahmud al-Muntasir
In office
4 January – 4 September 1968
Prime MinisterAbdul Hamid al-Bakkoush
Preceded byAhmad Bishti
Succeeded byShams ad-Din Orabi
Interior Minister of Libya
In office
6 March 1963 – 22 January 1964
Prime MinisterMuhammad Osman Said
Mohieddin Fikini
Preceded byAhmed Awn Sawf
Succeeded byMahmud al-Muntasir
Housing Minister of Libya (acting)
In office
1 July 1967 – 4 January 1964
Prime MinisterAbdul Qadir al-Badri
Abdul Hamid al-Bakkoush
Preceded byAbdul Qadir al-Badri
Succeeded byAnwar Sassi
Personal details
Born22 November 1922[1]
Italian Cyrenaica
Died1 December 1986 (aged 64)

Wanis al-Qaddafi (Arabic: ونيس القذافي; 22 November 1922 – 1 December 1986[2])[3][4] was a Libyan politician. He held many positions in the era of the Kingdom of Libya and was the tenth Prime Minister of Libya from 4 September 1968 to 31 August 1969, when his government was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi (no relation).


Qaddafi was born in Benghazi, Italian Cyrenaica, in 1922.[1] During the Italian colonial period, an Italian lawyer trained him for a career in law. According to some accounts, during the Second World War he fled with his family to Sudan, only returning to his country after it was occupied by the British. The young Qaddafi was taken up by the Allied Forces overseeing the administration of Benghazi and was the first Libyan to be recruited by the British for the political administration of Cyrenaica. Following the independence of Libya in 1951, he became a provincial minister in Cyrenaica, first of health, later of justice and transportation, and chaired Cyrenaica's Executive Council.

A friend of Idris of Libya, the post-war national leader, in 1962–1963 he was Minister of Foreign Affairs, then Interior Minister.[5] In 1964, he served for a short time as Labor Minister before being appointed as ambassador to West Germany.[6] Finally, in September 1968 became the last Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Libya,[1] replacing Abdul Hamid al-Bakkoush, whose reforms had alienated some conservative elements.[5]

On 17 November 1968, Qaddafi opened the fifth session of the Libyan National Assembly in Bayda and gave the annual prime minister's speech from the throne, emphasizing the themes of "stability, prosperity, and progress".[7]

Qaddafi was ousted from office by a coup d'état against King Idris on 1 September 1969, and was sentenced by the Libyan People's Court to two years in prison.[8] He returned to private life after his release and died of a heart attack in December 1986, aged 64.


Wanis al-Qaddafi was married to Amal, the daughter of Omar Faiek Shennib, from the distinguished House of Shennib. She founded a high school in 1961 and worked as headmistress there until she resigned in 1974 to look after Wanis, who had suffered a heart attack. After Wanis' death in 1986, she continued to live in their modest house in Benghazi, Libya.[9]

In 1977, Al-Qaddafi's eldest son Majid, fled to United States following his involvement in the April 1976 demonstrations against the Gaddafi regime at Benghazi's Gar Younis university which saw hundreds of student demonstrators killed or imprisoned.[10] Identified as a key protester, Majid Al A-Qaddafi found safe passage to the US and eventually settling in Portland, Oregon where he kept a low profile. He was allowed to return to Libya in 1994.[9] After the killing of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Majid emerged as a leading federalist.[11] He died in August 2012.[12]

Al-Qaddafi's younger son, Mohsen Al-Qaddafi fared less well. In 1981, at age 13, he became involved in a plot against Qaddafi. The plot was discovered and its leaders executed. Others were sentenced to life imprisonment.[13] Mohsen was imprisoned at the age of fourteen and passed the next seven years in jail, as Qaddafi's youngest political prisoner. Soon after his release in 1988, he was smuggled to Tunisia by his family to study in Egypt and eventually joined his elder brother in the United States.


  1. ^ a b c Harris M. Lentz, Heads of States and Governments Since 1945 (2014), p. 521: “Wanis al-Qaddafi was born in Benghazi on November 22, 1922. Qaddafi was named prime minister on September 4, 1968.”
  2. ^ "في مثل هذا اليوم منذ 33 سنة رحل ونيس محمد القذافي أول رئيس حكومة ليبية".
  3. ^ الزيلعي, محمد ضاهر (February 27, 2011). عين على ليبيا: لقذافي وعقدة التغيير (in Arabic). Retrieved 2011-04-05.
  4. ^ Some sources suggest a year of birth of 1920
  5. ^ a b The Middle East and North Africa, vol. 40 (1993), p. 646
  6. ^ "Almanac of Current World Leaders". 1968.
  7. ^ Africa Report, vol. 14 (1969), p. 30
  8. ^ A Political Chronology of Africa (Europa Publications, 2003), p. 242
  9. ^ a b "For Amal, life (re)begins at 75". Arab News. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2023-02-09.
  10. ^ 'Libya: What Happened and When'||url=
  11. ^ Grant, George (2012-07-10). "Federalists welcome Jibril victory; hint at dissolution if dialogue successful". LibyaHerald. Retrieved 2023-02-09.
  12. ^ "An emotive history — the story of the flag". LibyaHerald. 2012-09-02. Retrieved 2023-02-09.
  13. ^ 'Libya: What Happened and When'||url=

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Wanis al-Qaddafi
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