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Five African Leaders That Were Removed Or Forced To Resign

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Mali’s political crisis has reminded the world of Africa’s past power struggles that have led to the ouster of several heads of state.

The situation in which Mali finds itself is almost unfamiliar to the African continent, as in the past there have been similar conflicts where leaders and even foreign countries have expressed concern or sought to reconcile the rival factions.

We look at five African leaders who have been robbed of their seats in a similar controversy:

1. Yahya Jammeh

Jammeh once said he would rule for 1000 years

Yahya Jammeh became the president of Gambia after a military coup in 1994, although he later made himself a political leader after winning his first election in 1996.

He led a coup that overthrew Dawa Jawara’s government in July 1994.

Jammeh was re-elected president in 2001, 2006 and 2011, but lost in 2016 to Adama Barrow. He initially agreed to step down but later revolted, forcing the African Union to step down.

During his reign, he did harass anti-government journalists, anti-monogamous or same-sex couples.

His policies have strained relations with neighbouring Senegal.

In 2013, Jammeh withdrew the Gambia from the Commonwealth, and in 2016 he began plans to withdraw the country from the International Criminal Court, ICC.

Jammeh has been accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the country’s coffers to live a life of luxury.

2 . Robert Gabriel Mugabe

Mugabe

Robert Mugabe

He was a revolutionary leader and politician who served as Prime Minister of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 1987, and then President from 1987 to 2017.

Mr Mugabe was detained at his home by the military in 2017, led by General Constantino Chiwenga, and days later turned into a coup.

Mugabe was a communist who was among Africans who demanded an independent black state after being angered by the white minority who ruled the country’s territories.

After commenting on his opposition to the government, he was found guilty of public incitement and sentenced to prison between 1964 and 1974.

After nearly 40 years of political domination, Mugabe remains a controversial leader. He is described as an African hero who led the struggle for the liberation of the continent and for helping Zimbabwe gain independence from European colonial rule, white supremacy and the use of military force.

Critics have accused Mugabe of dictatorship and economic mismanagement, corruption in Zimbabwe and discrimination, human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.

3 . Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

EU Reacts As Soldiers Arrest Mali President, Prime Minister

Keïta was Prime Minister of Mali between 1994 and 2000.

He was the Speaker of the Malian Parliament from 2002 to 2007.

The moderate RPM was formed by Keïta in 2001.

After a run-off election in 2013, he was elected president of Mali, and in 2018 he won re-election for a second term.

He was forced to resign on August 19, 2020, after being arrested by the military.

4. Laurent Gbagbo in Ivory Coast

Born in 1945, Mr Gbagbo is a highly educated man and is widely regarded as a leader who wants to destroy his country after rejecting an election defeat.

After 20 years of opposition, he came to power in 2000 when military leader Robert Guei tried to rig an election that was crushed by protesters in the streets of Abidjan.

In April 2011, Mr Gbagbo was forced to step down – he was arrested at the presidential palace by UN and French-backed forces.

After five months the world recognized Alassane Ouattara as the winner of the election.

Mr Gbagbo has been extradited to The Hague, becoming the first former president to be tried at the tribunal.

5. Abdelaziz Bouteflika of Algeria

Bouteflika is an Algerian politician who ruled the country for 20 years, from 1999 until his resignation in 2019.

As president, he ended Algeria’s civil war in 2002, when he overthrew Liamine Zéroual (former president), and ended a state of emergency in February 2011 in a climate of instability.

Prior to his presidency, he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1963 to 1979 and then served as President of the United Nations for one year in 1974.

Bouteflika resigned on April 2, 2019, after nine months of mass protests.

After 20 years in power, he is Algeria’s longest-serving president.

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