Mohammed El Senussi

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Mohammed El Senussi
Born (1962-10-20) 20 October 1962 (age 53)
Tripoli, Kingdom of Libya
Title(s) Crown Prince of Libya (Self claimed)
Throne(s) claimed Libya
Last monarch Idris I
Connection with Grand nephew
Royal House Senussi
Father Crown Prince Hasan
Mother Crown Princess Fawzia bint Tahir
Predecessor Crown Prince Hasan

Mohammed El Senussi (Sayyid Mohammed al-Rida bin Sayyid Hasan ar-Rida al-Mahdi El Senussi; occasionally spelled as "...Al Senussi", "as-Senussi", "al/el-Senussi", and, most accurately, "al-Sanusi", born 20 October 1962) is the son of Crown Prince Hasan as-Senussi of Libya, and of Crown Princess Fawzia bint Tahir Bakeer. Born in Tripoli, he is considered by Libyan royalists to be the legitimate heir to the Senussi Crown of Libya. A rival claim is also advanced by his distant relative Idris bin Abdullah.[1] He was named Mohammed al-Rida (محمد الرضا) after his grandfather Mohammed al Rida El Senussi.


Styles of
Crown Prince Mohammed El Senussi
Reference style His Royal Highness
Spoken style Your Royal Highness
Alternative style Sir

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi overthrew Mohammed El Senussi's great-uncle King Idris and his father the Crown Prince on 1 September 1969 in the Al Fateh Revolution.[2] Gaddafi detained the Royal Family and held them under house arrest. In 1982 their house with belongings was destroyed and the family moved into a shack on the beach. Before being allowed to emigrate to the United Kingdom in 1988, Prince Mohammed spent some time in the early eighties working at the Libyan Ministry of Agriculture.[3]

Mohammed El Senussi received his education in the United Kingdom. On 18 June 1992, he was appointed as heir by his father to succeed him in death as Crown Prince and Head of the Royal House of Libya. He is unmarried.

Libyan civil war[edit]

Libyan Royal Family
Coat of arms of the Kingdom of Libya (1951-1969)
  • HRH The Crown Prince
  • HRH Prince al-Mahdi
    • HRH Prince Idris
  • HRH Princess Fatima
  • HRH Princess Faiza
  • HRH Prince Khalid
  • HRH Prince Ayman
  • HRH Prince Ashraf
  • HRH Prince Jalal
  • HRH Princess Amal
  • HRH Prince Saif

A young Benghazian carrying King Idris' photo. Support of the royal Senussi dynasty has traditionally been strong in Cyrenaica.[4]

During the Libyan Civil War, El Senussi spoke publicly in support of the protesters.

Senussi sent his condolences "for the heroes who have laid down their lives, killed by the brutal forces of Gaddafi" and called on the international community "to halt all support for the dictator with immediate effect."[5] El Senussi said that the protesters would be "victorious in the end" and called for international support to end the violence.

On 24 February, Senussi gave an interview to Al Jazeera English in which he called upon the international community to help remove Gaddafi from power and stop the ongoing "massacre".[6] He dismissed talk of a civil war, saying, "The Libyan people and the tribes have proven they are united".

Questioned about what shape a new government could take, and whether the 1951 royal constitution could be revived, Senussi said that such questions are "premature and are issues that are to be decided by the Libyan people," adding that for now the priority is to stop the "killing of innocent people." On whether he desires to return to Libya he said, "The Senussi family considers itself as in the service of the Libyan people."[7] When asked about reestablishing the monarchy, he has stated that he "is a servant to Libyan people, and they decide what they want".[8]

The White House said it will not specify which individuals and groups it is working and reaching out with, when asked if it supports El Senussi's calls for international support.[9]

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, he stated that it is too early to answer if the monarchy in Libya could be restored and if he will be active in Libyan politics. He also says the main objective is to end the violence on the streets in Libya.[10]

On 3 March, it was announced that he planned to return to Libya.[11] On 4 March, he called the West to use airstrikes against Gaddafi after his contacts in Libya told him they need airstrikes. He also argued that a no-fly zone would be insufficient but later calls for the no-fly zone.[12]

He later stated that international community needs "less talk and more action" to stop the violence.[13] He has asked for a no-fly zone over Libya but does not support foreign ground troops.[14] He sent a letter to current UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon calling the UN to impose the no fly zone.[15] He has also stated that a no-fly zone is the only way to stop Gaddafi who he has said is relying completely on the air force.[16] He viewed the departure of Moussa Koussa as a sign that the government is falling with in. He also does not think there will be a stalemate.[17]

On 20 April, Mohammed spoke in front of the European Parliament calling for more support for Libya.[18] He also states that he will support any form of government that Libya will choose after Gaddafi including a constitutional monarchy.[19]

On 21 September, Mohammed visited Rome to meet members of the Italian government and the Libyan opposition.[20]

On 20 October, Mohammed hailed the death of Gaddafi and the fall of Sirte as a victory of peace and freedom. He views it as opening a new chapter in Libyan history and that the era of oppression was behind them now.[21]

Recent developments[edit]

On 8 December 2011, Mohammed met with members of the Filipino government to discuss lifting the ban on deployment to Libya by the Philippine government. He also praised the Filipino health workers that refused to abandon their post and continued treating citizens in Tripoli during the war.[22]

On 6 March 2012, Eastern Libyans declared their desire for autonomy in Benghazi. Mohammed's relative, Ahmed al-Senussi was announced as the leader of the self-declared Cyrenaica Transitional Council.[23]

On 5 March 2014, the Libyan Transitional Government rehabilitated the Senussi family. The government’s decree restored the citizenship of former king's relatives and paved the way for the return of their confiscated property.[24]

On 24 December 2014, Mohammed called on Libyans to unite and lay personal interests aside in favour of national ones, speaking publicly for the first time in over three years in a video recording.[25]


  • The return of monarchy to Libya is not a priority, but "the United Nations – which endorsed the Libyan constitution upon independence – must interfere and restore the constitution, to hold free elections and let the people decide what system they prefer." 2005 [26]
  • "The Libyan people have now chosen to challenge this regime peacefully until it is gone from Libya, and the people will not return to their homes until justice is delivered… [they] have raised their voices in Benghazi and Tripoli and all other cities across Libya. They have made the whole world listen to them… His [Gaddafi's] fight to stay in power will not last long, because of the desire for freedom by the Libyan people. This great popular revolution will be victorious in the end, because of the unity of the Libyan people." 2011 [27]



  1. ^ The Sunday Times – Lead Article 9 July 1995
  2. ^ "Neo-Tarzanism: Gaddafi’s legendary petulance", Khaleej Times (Abu Dhabi), 2006-12-10 
  3. ^ Prince Mohammed El Senussi
  4. ^ "The Liberated East: Building a New Libya". The Economist. 24 February 2011. Retrieved 26 February 2011. 
  5. ^ Salama, Vivian (22 February 2011). "Libya's Crown Prince Says Protesters Will Defy 'Brutal Forces'". Bloomberg. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Staff writer (24 February 2011). "Libya's 'Crown Prince' Makes Appeal – Muhammad El Senussi Calls for the International Community To Help Remove Muammar Gaddafi from Power". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Derhally, Massoud A.; Alexander, Caroline (25 February 2011). "Libya's Prince Senussi Says Tribes Are United Against Qaddafi". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  8. ^ Staff writer (26 February 2011). "Exiled Libyan Crown Prince Says Kadhafi Must Step Down". Newstime Africa. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  9. ^ Singh, Tejinder (28 February 2011). "U.S. Hesitates To Support Crown Prince and Define Post-Gaddafi Libya – The United States on Monday Kept Options Open for a Post-Gaddafi Era Administration in Tripoli for Libya as U.S. President Barack Obama Met with Visiting U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the White House with Talks Focussed on Sanguinary Violence Unleashed by Libyan Leader Moammar Gaddafi According to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice Who Also Took Part in the Discussions". All Headline News. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Asharq Al-Awsat Talks to the Heir Apparent of Libya's Overthrown Monarchy". Asharq Al-Awsat. Retrieved 3 March 2011. 
  11. ^ Weiss, Michael (1 March 2011). "The Libyan School of Economics". Arma Virumque (blog of The New Criterion). Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  12. ^ Staff writer (5 March 2011). "Exiled Prince Calls for Airstrikes". The Times (via The Australian). Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  13. ^ Staff writer (9 March 2011). "Libya's 'Exiled Prince' Urges World Action". Agence France-Presse (via Khaleej Times). Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  14. ^ Libyan Crown Prince Urges No-Fly Zone
  15. ^ Bladd, Joanne (16 March 2011). "Exiled Libyan Crown Prince Calls for No Fly Zone". Arabian Business. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  16. ^ "Liyan Crown Prince Urges No-Fly Zone, Air Strikes". MSNBC. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  17. ^ "Libya: Heir to the throne 'ready to rule' if people ask". The First Post. Retrieved 1 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Libyan Crown Prince speaks to EU Parliament". European Conservatives and Reformists website. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  19. ^ Miller, John W. (20 April 2011). "Libyan Prince: I'm Ready to be King". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  20. ^ "AP Interview: Libyan royal offers to help homeland". Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  21. ^ "Exiled prince of Libya hails new chapter". Retrieved 20 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "Visit of Libya's 'next king'". Retrieved 27 December 2011. 
  23. ^
  24. ^ Libya “rehabilitates” royal family overthrown by Gaddafi. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
  25. ^ Prince Mohamed Senussi calls on Libyans to unite. Retrieved 2014-12-28.
  26. ^ Anti-Gaddafists rally in London, Region, Al-Ahram Weekly .
  27. ^ Gaddafi nears his end, exiled Libyan prince says, Reuters, 22.02.2011
  28. ^ Royal Ark

External links[edit]

Mohammed El Senussi
Senussi dynasty
Born: October 20 1962
Titles in pretence
Preceded by
Crown Prince Hasan
King of Libya
28 April 1992 – present
Reason for succession failure:
Monarchy abolished in 1969
Religious titles
Preceded by
Crown Prince Hasan
Chief of the Senussi order
28 April 1992 – present