Some made horrible decisions, others were just bad presidents, a few were really bloodthirsty extremists, whilst a couple were warmongers. All of these guys are a mix who in the last 130 years have been the architects of the most horrific genocides, systematic murders, blockades, brutal wars, and policy reforms history has ever recorded.
Where to begin? Maybe an icebreaker for you next dinner party? Did you know the word “genocide” was coined in 1943 to describe when the Armenians were slaughtered haphazardly by Turkish leader Ismail Enver? Until then there was no specific word for it in our language. It makes me think about how much more cognizant we’ve become in this last century to these events. So, a quick toast between you and I to a more peaceable future where less of what follows below is allowed to happen. Sit back, but don’t relax.
7. Paul Biya (20 000- 30 000 deaths)
Paul biya hails from Cameroon and he was born in February 13, 1933. Politics was always in Biya’s blood, he has managed to be [president for several terms. He has been president of Cameroon from November 1982. Biya has many Critics for his lack of public experiences, but Biya wields his sleeping powers like a tyrant.
He rules with his authoritarian fist that lets him push any policy that he deems essentially necessary. He is one of the best Known examples of Authoritarianism. He has been associated with numerous kidnappings, corruption and murders of people who oppose him.
6. Omar Al-Bhasir (30 000 – 40 000 Deaths)
He is a more recent case of Dictatorship. He became famous in March 2009 when he was issued a warrant for arrest.
He has been charged with 7 crimes against humanity. He planned and commited genocide against several ethnic groups such as Masalit and Zaghwa killing tens of thousand of people. He is regarded by many as one of the most murderous dictators ever.
5. Hissene Habre (80 000-100 000 Deaths)
Many say Hissene Habre did not do much but he is still considered a Dictator. He rose to power when Libya Invaded Chad. Habre’s troops defeated the Libyan troops and sent them packing in 1981.
However many human rights groups hold Habre responsible for the killing of thousands of people. These killing include massacres against Hajerai and Zaghawa. The Humans rights watch charged him with torturing thousands of people and killing tens of thousands during his rule.
4. Charles Taylor (100 000-150 000 Deaths)
The former President of Liberia who was elected in 1997 (allegedly by terrorizing the population) has been connected with gross human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against the humanity in the civil war in the neighboring Sierra Leone as well as at home during the Second Liberian Civil War that lasted from 1999 to 2003.
He is currently being trialled for his involvement in the Sierra Leone civil war at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
3. Sani Abacha (100 000-200 000 deaths)
A report on corruption, published in July 1997 by the Berlin-based organisation Transparency International listed Nigeria as the most corrupt nation in the world. Abacha took office in during a military coup occurred in November 1993, following the annulment of presidential elections in June that year.General Sani Abacha, the Armed Forces Chief of Staff, took power. He annulled the organs of state, banned political parties and dismantled the democratic structures.International pressure forced General Abacha to announce a three-year timetable for the transition to democracy in October 1995, but the plans were plagued by repeated delays.Local elections held in March 1997 were five months later than planned.
Only five political parties were registered of the 15 who applied. Nigerian commission responsible for the transition to democracy announced that Presidential elections would be held on August 1, 1998. A handover to civilian rule is due to occur by the beginning of October.It was a military tribunal which ordered the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and nine other activists in November 1995 , the 26 faced the death penalty.
2. Idi Amin (25000-30000 deaths)
The 3rd President of Uganda was responsible for about 250,000 deaths which were a result of his regime of terror marked by torture, extra-judicial executions, corruption and ethnic persecution. He held power from 1972 to 1979 when he fled the country due to the defeat against Tanzania which he attacked one year earlier. He found refuge in Libya and then in Saudi Arabia where he died in 2003.
1. Yakubu Gowon (1.1 million deaths)
Breakdown: 1 million civilians on the wrong side of a blockade caused by a war of secession in Nigeria and 100,000 soldiers who died in that war.
It starts as many sad stories do with precious beautiful oil. It had been found in the Niger delta where tensions were already high between the Eastern region (led by Ojukwu) and the rest of the country (governed by Yakubu). A dummy agreement was signed between them called the “Aburi Accord”, but it meant nothing to either leader.
Yakubu started to put pressure on the region, and tested how much sway he had in the area versus Ojukwu. Well Ojukwu being no slouch declared secession from the rest of Nigeria and became the “Republic of Biafra”. This began a war that caused the deaths of 100,000 soldiers, and much worse, a blockade on the region which starved 1 million civilians.