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Army units quickly rallied in support of the coup, and within a few days firmly established military control in Tripoli and elsewhere throughout the country.
Popular reception of the coup, especially by younger people in the urban areas, was enthusiastic.
Medical care became available to the public at no cost but providing housing for all was a task the RCC government was not able to complete.
During the 1980s and 1990s, Gaddafi, in alliance with the Eastern Bloc and Fidel Castro's Cuba, openly supported rebel movements like Nelson Mandela's African National Congress, the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Irish Republican Army and the Polisario Front (Western Sahara).
On 1 September 1969, a group of about 70 young army officers known as the Free Officers Movement and enlisted men mostly assigned to the Signal Corps, seized control of the government and in a stroke abolished the Libyan monarchy.
The coup was launched at Benghazi, and within two hours the takeover was completed.
Gaddafi's behavior, often erratic, led outsiders to conclude that he was not mentally sound, a claim disputed by the Libyan authorities and other observers close to Gaddafi.In its initial proclamation on 1 September, the RCC declared the country to be a free and sovereign state called the Libyan Arab Republic, which would proceed "in the path of freedom, unity, and social justice, guaranteeing the right of equality to its citizens, and opening before them the doors of honorable work." The rule of the Turks and Italians and the "reactionary" government just overthrown were characterized as belonging to "dark ages", from which the Libyan people were called to move forward as "free brothers" to a new age of prosperity, equality, and honor.The RCC advised diplomatic representatives in Libya that the revolutionary changes had not been directed from outside the country, that existing treaties and agreements would remain in effect, and that foreign lives and property would be protected.Gaddafi's government was either known to be or suspected of participating in or aiding terrorist acts by these and other proxy forces.Additionally, Gaddafi undertook several invasions of neighboring states in Africa, notably Chad in the 1970s and 1980s.