African leaders driven from power since 2010

Friday September 06 2019

Former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. He died on September 6, 2019 aged 95. FILE PHOTO | REUTERS


Former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, whose death was announced on Friday, was on a long list of African leaders forced from power since 2010.

  • North Africa

Tunisia: After 23 years in power, and under massive popular pressure, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali flees to Saudi Arabia with his family on January 14.

Egypt: Hosni Mubarak resigns on February 11, after widespread protests, ending his 30-year reign and handing power to the army.

Egypt: On July 3 the military ousts Egypt's first democratically elected leader, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, after large demonstrations against his one-year rule.

Libya: Dictator Muamar Gaddafi is captured and killed on October 20 after nearly 42 years in power, nine months after NATO-backed rebels rose up against his regime.


Algeria: Ailing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, resigns on April 2, nearly six weeks after the start of unprecedented protests sparked by his bid for a fifth term.

His resignation, after two decades in power, comes shortly after the army demanded the start of impeachment proceedings against him. Abdelkader Bensalah, speaker of the upper house of parliament, becomes interim president.

Sudan: Omar al-Bashir, in power for three decades, is ousted on April 11 by the military and put under arrest following months of protests against his iron-fisted rule.

A transitional military council is established to run the country, but demonstrations continue. After eight months of unrest, Sudan's first government in the transition to civilian rule was announced on Thursday.

  • West Africa

Ivory Coast: On April 11, Laurent Gbagbo—in power since a controversial 2000 election—is arrested after a more than four-month crisis caused by his refusal to recognise the victory of Alassane Ouattara in the 2010 presidential election.

Niger: On February 18 president Mamadou Tandja is overthrown in a military coup after changing the constitution to remain in power beyond two terms.

He had been voted into office in 1999.

Mali: Mutinous soldiers overthrow the Bamako government and detain president Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22, precipitating the fall of the north to Islamist rebels allied with Al-Qaeda.

Guinea Bissau: A coup takes place on April 12 between two rounds of a presidential poll with troops ousting president Raimundo Pereira and the former prime minister.

Burkina Faso: President Blaise Compaore, who came to power in a 1987 coup, flees the country on October 31 after being ousted in a revolt sparked by his efforts to extend his 27-year hold on power.
Less than a year later, interim president Michel Kafando will be overthrown, but reinstated a week later.

Gambia: Yahya Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994, leaves the country on January 21, handing power to Adama Barrow, winner of December 2016 elections. He acts under the threat of military intervention by troops from neighbouring nations.

  • Central Africa

Central African Republic: Ten years after seizing power, General Francois Bozize flees on March 24 when rebels from the Muslim-dominated group Seleka seize the presidential palace, unleashing a bloody conflict with mainly Christian militias.

  • South Africa

Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe resigns on November 21 after 37 years in power, as parliament debates his impeachment for promoting his wife and no longer having the physical capacity to carry out his duties.

He is succeeded by his former deputy, Emmerson Mnangagwa, fired two weeks earlier.

South Africa: Jacob Zuma, South Africa's first Zulu president in power since 2009, resigns on February 14 as the ruling ANC party turns against him, turning the page on nine years of corruption scandals involving him. His vice-president Cyril Ramaphosa succeeds him.