After the North African campaign of World War II Britain had assured the local Sanusi population that they would be free from Italian rule. Four years of negotiation resulted in a UN resolution that Libya should become an independent kingdom, uniting the regions of Cyrenaica, Tripolitania, and Fezzan by 1 January 1952. On 24 December 1951 King Idris I declared Libya independent. This was an autocratic rule - no political parties were permitted and Idris assumed complete control.
The discovery of oil in 1959 changed the nature of Libyan politics and lead to unrest. In 1969 Muammar al-Qaddafi led a military coup against Idris, creating a Libyan republic.
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