African strongmen who have fallen in the past 10 years

Just a week ago, Algeria's President Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned after weeks of massive street protests.

Bouteflika, who has been in power for 20 years, had already dropped plans to seek a fifth term as opposition to his rule grew.

The powerful Algerian army had called for the 82-year-old to be declared incapable of carrying out his duties.

"I have made this decision to avoid and prevent the arguments which distort, unfortunately, the current situation, and avoid its turning into serious skirmishes, to ensure the protection of persons and property," Bouteflika said in the letter to the president of the Constitutional Council.

Economic collapse

In November 2017, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe finally bowed to pressure and stepped down, ending his 37-year rule that began with the optimism of independence but plunged the country into an economic crisis.

He was forced to resign when parliament commenced impeachment proceedings against him — six days after the military took over the country and placed the 93-year-old head of state under house arrest.

His estranged Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was installed as new president, just two weeks after Mugabe had fired him.

In February 2011, a wave of protests and popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power after ruling Egypt for almost 30 years.

He was replaced by Mohamed Morsi, who suffered a similar fate two years later on July 3, 2013, when then Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led a coalition to remove him. Both Morsi and Mubarak were jailed.

In October 2011, the western-backed National Transitional Council (NTC) rebels captured Col. Muammar Gaddafi and killed him.

After nine months of fighting, a Nato imposed no-fly zone and plenty of fiery speeches from the "King of Kings", Libyan rebels killed Gaddafi in October, ending his 42-year dictatorial rule.

Unlike rebellions in Tunisia and Egypt, Libya's conflict looked more like a conventional war than a series of protests, and today the country remains in ruins.

The fall of African strongmen started in Tunisia, in what is popularly known as the “Arab Spring’ or "Tunisia Revolution" that led to the ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.

Public outrage

Ben Ali had ruled Tunisia since 1987 but that was brought to an end when 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi, a hawker, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire, sparking public outrage. What started as protests over unemployment and high cost of living soon turned violent, leading to Ali's ouster.

In 2017, Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh was forced to flee Gambia into exile when he attempted to cling to power after losing in elections to Adama Barrow. He had ruled the tiny West African country for 22 years after he took over in a military coup in 1994.

In 2014, President Blaise Compaoré who had ruled Burkina Faso for 27 years was forced to resign after public protests that culminated in an angry mob burning the house of parliament. He fled to neighbouring Ivory Coast.

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Fallen African PresidentsAlgeria's President Abdelaziz BouteflikaRobert Mugabe