Ousted by Military, Sudan’s Bashir Joins a List of African Leaders Forced Out of Power

Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir.

After months of relentless protests in Sudan which were sparked by the rise in the cost of bread and inflation, Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir has been ousted.

What started as a united call by citizens against a struggling economy, later became a demand for freedom, peace justice and an end to a regime that Bashir has presided over for the last three decades.

On Thursday, Bashir was forced to step down by the military. Earlier on Thursday, the military had seized the national broadcaster and announced it was due to make an “important announcement”.

When the announcement finally came, Sudanese Defence Minster, Gen Ahmed Awad Ibn Auf said Bashir had been arrested “in a safe place”.

A military council will take control of the country for two years, after which elections would be held.

Omar Al-Bashir’s reign has widely been described as autocratic and characterized by several human rights abuses. He is also wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on allegations of mass killing, rape and pillage against civilians in Darfur.

Bashir who has ruled Sudan since 1989, now joins a long list African leaders who have forcefully been driven out of power since 2010.

Here are other African cases... 

Last week, Algeria’s President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, 82, resigned, following months of massive demonstrations, after announcing in February, that he was to stand for the fifth term. He had ruled the North African country for 20 years.

The army declared him incapable of carrying out his duties.

In November 2017, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was pushed out of office by the military, ending his 37-year rule. His former Vice President, Emerson Mnangagwa was appointed by the ruling party as an interim president, before holding general elections months later.

In 2017, Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia, who came to power through a coup in 1994, left the country on January 21, handing power to Adama Barrow, winner of December 2016 elections.

Jammeh who initially accepted defeat, changed his decision later and refused to hand over power. He was thereafter forced to leave the country for Barrow to assume office.

The year 2014 saw President Blaise Compaore of Burkina Faso, who came to power in 1987 through a coup leave the country on October 31. He was ousted following a revolt sparked by his efforts to extend his 27-year hold on power.

Central African Republic was in 2013 not spared by the wave of forceful political change. Ten years after seizing power, General Francois Bozize fled CAR on March 24 when rebels from the Muslim-dominated group, Seleka seized the presidential palace, unleashing a bloody conflict with mainly Christian militias.

In the same year, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi got ousted on July 3 by the military after large demonstrations against his one-year rule.

In Mali in 2012, mutinous soldiers overthrew the government and detained President Amadou Toumani Toure on March 22.

In same year in Guinea Bissau, a coup took place on April 12 between two rounds of a presidential poll with troops ousting President Raimundo Pereira and the former Prime Minister.

After 23 years in power, and under massive popular pressure, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali left Tunisia in 2011 to Saudi Arabia with his family on January 14.

Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak resigned on February 11, 2010 after widespread protests, ending his 30-year reign and handing power to the army.

In Libya, President Muammar Gadhafi was captured and killed on October 20, 2011 after nearly 42 years in power, nine months after NATO-backed rebels rose up against his regime.

In Ivory coast, President Laurent Gbagbo, who had stayed in power since a controversial 2000 election, was on April 11, 2010 arrested after more than four-months of crisis caused by his refusal to recognise the victory of Alassane Ouattara in the 2010 presidential election.

In Niger, President Mamadou Tandja was on February 18, 2010 overthrown in a military coup after changing the constitution in order to remain in power beyond two terms. He had been voted into office in 1999.

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