First Tunisia fell then Egypt fell and now Libya may be the next country to undergo revolution and more nations could soon follow.
A popular uprising in Tunisia prompted President Zine El Abidine to leave the country on Jan. 14 after weeks of protests. The rebellion in Tunisia sparked demonstrations elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa including Egypt where President Hosni Mubarak finally gave up nearly 30 years of rule.
Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi took power in a 1969 coup.
He once held the popular support of his people and was admired by many in the region as anti-colonialist and a pan-Africanist figure.
Now the mercurial and erratic autocratic leader has descended into a brutal dictator who has unleashed a bloody crackdown against the popular uprising.
Of all the recent uprisings Libya has suffered the most violence.
A mix of Gaddafi loyalists and foreign African mercenaries hunt down and kill unarmed protesters in the streets.
Despite the bloody crackdown, protesters have gained momentum and have been joined by high-level government officials and army officers who have defected.
They have turned against an out-of-touch and out of control leader who has launched a vicious and outrageous attack against his own people.
Whether Gaddafi will be able to continue to control the entire country he has ruled for 41 years for now remains uncertain. The extent of his control has been reduced to the western coastal region around Tripoli, the capital.
What is certain is that the Libyan people and people in the region want political freedom.
Popular uprisings are spreading in the Middle East and North Africa.
The people in the region have had enough of autocratic regimes where corrupt leaders and their cronies benefit while the masses of people suffer poverty and political repression.
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