7 Most Barbarous African Leaders Of All Time
Africa has had its fair share of dictators over the years.
However, some just stood out for their shocking ruthlessness and extreme brutality. Wonder who they are? Here are the most evil African dictators of all time.
Here are the most evil African dictators of all time:
1. Idi Amin Dada.
Arguably the most infamous African dictator of all time. When he seized power, he went on to confer on himself the following titles “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular. Rumor has it that he even used to eat people and his refrigerator was always filled with human flesh. He also once ordered the killing of one of his wives too after he discovered she had an affair.
Amin’s rule was characterized by frightening human rights abuses, political repression, several extrajudicial killings, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. Uganda’s currency almost became valueless during his time in power. He had a big appetite for women too and it’s said he got the nickname ‘dada’ during his military days because he used to bring so many women to his room. Reports estimate the death toll of his regime to be around 500,000 people yet he only served for 8 years. Amin was overthrown by Nyerere’s army in 1979 after he tried to claim part of Tanzania as Uganda’s land. He went into exile in Saudi Arabia and died in 2003. Below is a photo of Idi Amin being carried by British diplomats.
2. Mobutu Sese Seko.
During his three-decade reign, Mobutu consolidated power by publicly executing political rivals, coup plotters, and other threats to his rule. To set an example, many were hanged before large audiences, including a former Prime Minister by the name of Evariste Kimba. He forced all television stations to start the evening news with an image of him descending through clouds from the heavens.
He also nationalized foreign-owned firms and forced European investors out of the country. In typical stupidity, he handed the management of these firms to relatives and close associates who stole assets and bankrupted the companies. He is said to have embezzled between US$4 billion and $15 billion during his reign, as well as extravagances such as private-jet shopping trips to Paris as well as owning over 10 limousines. Rebel forces led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila eventually overthrew him in 1997. He died three months later from prostate cancer.
3. Jean-Bedel Bokassa.
He ruled the Central African Republic from 1976 to 1979. He personally supervised judicial beatings and introduced a rule that thieves would have an ear cut off for the first two offenses and a hand for the third. In December 1976, in emulation of his hero Napoleon, he appointed himself emperor of the Central African Empire, with a coronation ceremony in 1977 that cost a whopping US$80 million today. This move bankrupted his country. His diamond-encrusted crown alone cost $20 million (today). In 1979 he had hundreds of schoolchildren arrested for refusing to buy uniforms from a company owned by one of his wives. Bokassa was reported to have personally supervised the massacre of 100 of the schoolchildren by his Imperial Guard. On 20 September 1979, French paratroopers deposed him and re-installed a new president that the public favored.
4. Sani Abacha.
Rumor has it that the Nigerian dictator died at the presidential palace in 1998 after he got a stroke while having sex with two Indian prostitutes. He was buried on the same day of his death without an autopsy. Abacha’s military career was distinguished by a string of successful coups. He is considered one the most successful coup plotters in Africa’s history because as a soldier, he was involved in every Nigerian coup from 1965 until the time he took power in 1993. His regime was characterized by
5. Charles Taylor.
Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is currently serving a 50-year sentence after a trial at the Hague. Before he became president, he had escaped from a US jail after he was arrested on suspicion of being in the country illegally. While seizing power in 1990, he tortured and killed the then-president Samuel Doe before dragging him naked in the streets of Liberia’s capital Monrovia. He is said to have committed some of the most heinous and brutal crimes recorded in human history.
Domestically, opposition to his regime grew, culminating in the outbreak of the Second Liberian Civil War (1999–2003). By 2003, Taylor had lost control of much of the countryside. He resigned, as a result of growing international pressure, and went into exile in Nigeria. The Hague later caught up with him.
Image: The Guardian
6. Muammar Gaddafi.
Gaddafi seized power in a military coup in 1969. He dominated Libya’s politics for four decades and is said to have only preferred female bodyguards. The charismatic leader of Libya and one of the greatest dictators in African history was captured and killed by rebels in Sirte, his city of birth, during the Libyan revolution of 2011 that is said to have been aided by the US. During his time in power, Libya was an economic powerhouse but Gaddafi destroyed anyone who opposed him. He was responsible for the deaths of thousands of politicians who looked like a threat to him and also supported several other African dictators such as Idi Amin.
7. Sekou Toure.
He was the first elected President of Guinea and served from 1958 to his death. During his presidency, he held several elections with himself as the only candidate. Just like Hitler, he established death camps that were used to kill his opponents and critics. Mass graves were discovered in several parts of Guinea in 2002 and some 50,000 people are believed to have been killed in concentration camps under the regime of Touré. After his death, the next president Lansana Conte arrested and executed all of the dictator’s associates and friends. Africa is indeed crazy.