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Former Libyan PM Mahmoud Jibril dies of COVID-19 in Egypt

By
Don Jacobson
 Mahmoud Jibril, leader of the National Forces Alliance of Libya, speaks at the 45th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 23, 2015. Jibril died in Egypt after testing positive for the coronavirus disease. File Photo by Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA-EFE
 Mahmoud Jibril, leader of the National Forces Alliance of Libya, speaks at the 45th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 23, 2015. Jibril died in Egypt after testing positive for the coronavirus disease. File Photo by Jean-Christophe Bott/EPA-EFE

April 6 (UPI) -- Former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril, who took charge of the country nine years ago after the popular uprising that ousted longtime ruler Moammar Gadhafi, has died of COVID-19, officials said Monday.

Jibril, 68, died in a Cairo hospital after being admitted 10 days ago with coronavirus symptoms.

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Jibril headed a transitional council that took over the Libyan government immediately after the successful revolt against Gadhafi's regime in 2011, which was part of the wave of "Arab Spring" uprisings against authoritarian rulers in the Middle East.

Three years later, Jibril became head of the National Forces Alliance, a pro-democracy coalition of dozens of secular and independent groups.

Jibril was born in Benghazi in 1952 and earned a master's degree and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in the United States in the early 1980s.

The former prime minister served under the Gadhafi regime as a member of the national planning council and economic development board -- a fact some analysts say hindered his efforts to move Libya toward a lasting democracy following Gadhafi's ouster.

Jibril's death was acknowledged Monday by Faiez al-Sarraj, prime minister of Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord.

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