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Daniel arap Moi – Kenya  – 1978–2002

President of Kenya. Changed constitution to establish a de jure one-party state; resorted to repressive rule, including torture and imprisonment without trial.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo – Equatorial Guinea – 1979–present

Chairman of the Supreme Military Council 1979-1982; President of Equatorial Guinea 1982–present. Deposed his uncle in a violent coup; opposition is banned in all but name.

José Eduardo dos Santos – Angola – 1979–present

President of Angola. One-party state; did not stand for election until 1992.

João Bernardo Vieira – Guinea-Bissau – 1980–1984 and 2005–present

Become president by a coup. Killing and exiled opposition. Famous for the Guinea-Bissau Civil War.

Samuel K. Doe – Liberia – 1980–1990

Chairman of the People’s Redemption Council 1980-1984; President of Liberia 1984-1990. Gained power in a military coup that killed President William R. Tolbert, Jr., a reformer. Promoted Krahn chauvinism and “died a multi-millionaire and proud owner of mansions and estates”.

Robert Mugabe – Zimbabwe – 1980–present

Gained power through election, and repeatedly re-elected, but criticized for steps used to maintain power. From 1999 on, used police and militant groups like the War Veterans Association and Border Gezi Youth to enforce ZANU-PF policies and to prevent opponents from voting; called “king” by his aides. Arrested and tortured opponents and human rights activists; gave amnesty to murderers of his political opponents in 2000; ignores court rulings. Criticized as dictator by Desmond Tutu and Vladimir Putin.

Jerry Rawlings – Ghana – 1981–1992

Gained power in a military coup during 1979 but handed it over. Re-took power in another coup of 1981. Elected President in 1992 and again in 1996 before standing aside as per the constitution.

André Kolingba – Central African Republic – 1981–1993

Chairman of the Military Committee of National Recovery 1981-1985; President of the Central African Republic 1985-1993. Gained power in a coup; persecuted opposition; allowed (and lost) free elections in 1993. Attempted second coup in 2001.

Hosni Mubarak – Egypt – 1981–present

President of Egypt. Did not stand in a contested election until 2005, when a highly-restricted democratic process was allowed.

Paul Biya – Cameroon – 1982–present

He served under President Ahmadou Ahidjo and became Prime Minister in 1975. Ahidjo resigned on November 6, 1982 and Biya became president. After years of totalitarian rule, he allowed the creation of opposition parties in 1990 but his re-elections have been marked by widespread fraud and intimidation.

 

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