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Former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has passed away from the coronavirus.

Former Libyan Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril Has Passed Away

Mahmoud Jibril, former leader of the rebel government that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, has died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Aljazeera reports that the former Prime Minister of Libya, Mahmoud Jibril, has passed away in a hospital in Cairo, Egypt, after having tested positive for the coronavirus.

Jibril was aged 68.


Shortly before the Arab Spring uprisings which eventually led to the ousting of Egypt's long-standing leader, Muammar Gaddafi, Jibril had been the economic advisor to Gaddafi. After joining the revolution, Jibril then led the National Transitional Council as Prime Minister before Egypt held its first free elections in four decades in 2012.

Before Jibril's death, Libya had confirmed 18 coronavirus cases and just one death. Jibril now becomes the second Libyan national to die from the growing COVID-19 outbreak.

Currently, the total number of coronavirus cases on the African continent stands at just over 9000 with at least 445 reported deaths, according to BBC's Coronavirus in Africa tracker. South Sudan is the latest African country to confirm its first case of coronavirus while Ethiopia recently announced its first death from the outbreak. Several African countries including South Africa, Zimbabwe and Nigeria are currently on nationwide lockdowns as part of efforts to curb the spread of the outbreak. Read our rolling coverage of the coronavirus outbreak in Africa here.

Other African public figures who have died from the coronavirus in the past few weeks include Cameroonian Jazz legend, Manu Dibango, former President of Congo, Jacques Joaquim Yhombi-Opango, former president of Marseilles football club, Pape Diouf, former Prime Minister of Somalia, Nur Hassan Hussein, as well as Burkina Faso's Vice-President of Parliament, Rose-Marie Compaore.
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This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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