Libya / Politics /
Arabic: sidi muhammad 'idrīs 'al-mahdī 'as-sanūsī
(1890-1983) King of Libya 1951-1969.
Idris' politics were very conservative, and he was not active with the waves of pan-Arab identification and with Arab nationalism, ideologies that were very strong in this period.
The political structures under Idris were based upon tribal structures. Townsmen and tribal leaders were strong in each of their regions, but they all supported the king. Stability was further helped by political and military support from his Western allies.
1890 March 13: Born in Jarabub, Cyrenaica.
1902: Succeeds his father as leader of the Sufi brotherhood Sanusi in Cyrenaica. Due to his being a minor, the active rule rests with his cousin, Ahmad ash-Sharif.
1916: Idris becomes the real ruler of the Sanusi.
1917: With the agreement of Arcoma with the Italians, Idris gets support for his rule in inland Cyrenaica, and assumes the title emir.
1919: A Cyrenaican parliament is established, and Idris starts to receive financial support from the Italians.
1922: The Italians launch military campaigns into the Libyan hinterland, forcing Idris into exile in Egypt. Still, Idris is able to communicate with and direct his followers.
1942: Idris returns to Libya, after Britain occupies Libya. Idris now forms an official government.
1951 December: After that representatives from Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan have decided to establish a constitutional monarchy, Idris becomes king of Libya. Libya declares its independence.
1969 September 1: While Idris is in Turkey for medical treatment, he is deposed by the Libyan army under the leadership of Colonel Gadhafi in a bloodless coup. Idris exile in Egypt.
1974: Idris is convicted in absentia for corruption by a Libyan court.
1983 May 25: Dies in Cairo, Egypt.