These African leaders were ousted at the height of their power

A week in African politics can be a very long time. A lot of things usually happen with outcomes habitually bordering on the extreme. A protest here with the government usually responding with terror, a corruption scandal there, a contested election that is often marred with irregularities or voter intimidation, a drought that way, the list is endless.

Business Insider Sub Saharan Africa is chronicling African leaders who were forced out of office.

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali – Tunisia

Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (The Telegraph)


Zine el Abidine Ben Ali will be remembered as the first leader to be toppled in what became known as the Arab Spring. After nearly 24 years in in pomp and luxury, he became the former president of Tunisia. Ben Ali was thrown out for economic mismanagement abuse of power.

Hosni Mubarak – Egypt

Hosni Mubarak (CGTN Africa)


The 89-year-old, Hosni Mubarak ruled Egypt for almost 30 years until he was swept from power in a wave of mass protests in February 2011 after he surprised the people of his country by refusing to resign.

Laurent Gbagbo   Ivory Coast

He served in opposition for 20 years and finally came to power in 2000 when military leader Robert Guei’s attempts to rig elections were defeated by street protests in Ivory Coast. The 72-year-old was forced out of office after his unwillingness to to accept defeat at the ballot box. Gbagbo is being tried at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity.

Muammar Gadaffi – Libya

Muammar Gadaffi (


The African strongman met his inhumane fate in October 2011 after being in power since 1969. Gaddafi had been Africa’s and the Arab world’s longest-serving ruler. He gave a televised speech amid violent social unrest against his autocratic rule. He promised to hunt down protesters which caused a furor that fuelled the armed rebellion against him.

Madagascar’s Marc Ravalomanana –  Madagascar

Madagascar’s Marc Ravalomanana (


The 68-year-old Malagasy politician was ousted in 2009 by Andry Rajoelina, a former deejay and mayor of the capital Antananarivo, with the backing of the army following nearly two months of bloody protests that left an estimated 100 people dead. He fled to Swaziland and later moved to South Africa.

Amadou Toumani Toure – Mali

playAmadou Toumani Toure (Alchetron)


The 68-year-old was deposed in an apparent coup, first came to power in the arid, land-locked West African country in 1991. Toure, a former army officer, seized power in a coup and was forced out in 2012.

Francois Bozize – Central African Republic

playFrancois Bozize (Reuters)

The 71-year-old became a high-ranking army officer in the 1970s, under the rule of Jean-Bédel Bokassa, another dictator who was ousted in 1979. His problems started in 2011 and culminated into his overthrow in 2013.

Blaise Compaore – Burkina Faso

Ousted Burkina Faso leader, Blaise Compaore (BBC)


The 66-year-old was deposed in October 2014 following nationwide protests sparked by his efforts to extend his 27-year hold on power.

Charles Taylor – Liberia

Charles Taylor (BBC)


Taylor took power in 1990 after deposing Samuel Doe who was brutally murdered and his genitals cut out, stepped down in 2003, handed over power to vice president Moses Blah and sought for asylum in Nigeria where he was arrested after attempting to escape. The 69-year-old is currently serving a prison term in UK having been convicted by a UN-backed court for war crimes and crimes against humanity over supporting rebels who committed atrocities in Sierra Leone.

READ ALSO: These are some of Africa’s wealthiest families

Kwame Nkrumah – Ghana

Kwame Nkrumah (Graphic Online)


The first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, was unconstitutionally ousted from office through a military and police coup d’état on February 24, 1966. The coup was carried out by lower-ranking military officers and police officials with the direct assistance and coordination by external forces.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *