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End of Dictatorship – Crossroad of extremism

Flipping to the pages of history, I found the un-predictable nature of political transformations which gave way to new forms of governance while ridding away from the age old tribal and monarchy rules but something is about to change the scenario, a scenario where even being an un-official figure one will rule the nation and take the world on ride; in a hot summer months when the life in Sahara becomes the worst in terms of survival one June a child was born in 1942 in burning sands of vast spread rural heartlands of Qasr Abu Hadi near the town of Sirte in a Bedouin tent.

The world earlier was divided on the grounds of territory but with the introduction of the authoritarian dictatorships which have ruled the corners of globe on the base of its distinct and conflicting ideologies. These concepts of think-tank governing divided the world into the pieces of play cards where the forces were got involved in the tussle to decide which donkey will rule the world and lead his people.

The world wars which were fought telling the stories of capitalism and fascism or communism were actually fought to establish once own concept of ideologies which haunted the world for over a century making the world a hotbed of extremism which unveil its first form, a form, a purity of rule of thumb, a definition of authority named as dictator and his political form a ship which when combines becomes a dictatorship it has numerous sub forms varying on the points of perceptions ranging from Fascism, Nazism, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, Military or Junta, absolute monarchy (traditional form), Religious governments, communism, warlords’ and tribal leaderships (traditional form).

Even though many part with this totalitarianism whereas majority wants the democratic freedom to be theirs, after the end of World War II many countries witnessed the drastic revolutions which not only changed their lives but also put the entire regulatory system to suppress the freedom of every ones lives.

A land of deserts and dying souls which never have ever thought that it would become the sunshine of ideology to the world where the rule of some of the authoritarian will took its shape, a shape which no-one would or could ever imagined about. It was hidden silence of Suez crisis which gave rise to a person who not only transforms the nature of entire governance but also the perceptions about rule of the masses and the name of that person was ‘Late Col Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi’ or simply ‘Gaddafi’ which the world has known to call him always.

This was the person who abolished the Libyan monarchy in a bloodless coup and formed a new constitution in 1969 bringing the divided tribal Libyan heartland under the fold and dominion of one flag and one nation governance. This was the time when people of different races and cultures see him as a liberator, as hero, as their true committed brotherly leader but destiny was busy in writing something unexpected which one day will shake the world and its tyrant leaders ruling in the close Libyan neighborhoods.

Gaddafi during his rule was known for his flamboyant dresses and lifestyle which were backed and guarded by his brigade of female bodyguards who have always been the uncompromised security delegation travelling lavishly protecting their leaders back from hawking eyes.

Even though he taken the country on ride of development and prosperity for all under the new unique system of Jamahiriya or ruled by the masses as he popularly famed it was just a false carpet which covers the hidden truth behind the madness and inhumanity of this brotherly leader who was not so brotherly to his own people, having ruled for forty two years Gaddafi personally ordered and executed many smiling and rebellion souls whom he thought to be a threat to his political survival or could challenge his authority. But who had predicted the outcome which his destiny had planned for him for his deeds which stole the lives of hundreds and thousands of innocents died mercilessly for their wish to live in freedom and liberty of being democratic.

One of the initial examples of mercilessness is the killing of students and participating teachers in protests organized in ‘Benghazi’s Engineering College in the warm April of 1977’ whose participant bodies were hanged on the street lights after being executed for the exhibition so that people should learn about his power and the result if they try to raise their heads against him.

However it is true always to say that the ball never lies in one court, it sometimes fall in one while sometime it rolls in others and the moment came on when his colleagues and friendly allies faced the wrath of spring uprisings which shook the whole world by surprise igniting its flame from Tunisia while making the Egyptian dictator abandon his crown forcing him to flee whereas ultimately hitting hard at Gaddafi’s tented doors on 15 February 2011 making it the worst in the series of ‘Arab Spring’.

A small unarmed rebellion which rose by surprise in the silent corners of Benghazi was the beginning of the end of Gaddafi era which in no time spread like a wild fire across the country and drag the whole world’s attention towards its cause and cries overshadowing the other’s revolting against in the near quarters while buying the time for the self styled dictators like “Bashar al Assad of Syria, Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, Sultan Quboos of Oman, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain” and “many regimes like of Jordan, Mauritania, Western Sahara, Palestinian clashes near Israeli border, Iraq, Kuwait, Sudan, Morocco and even a slight silent hidden protests in UAE and Saudi Arabia” where the eyes of all international media was wide shut and divert their cameras towards the killing spree and cut throat war between the pro Gaddafi forces and the newly recognized NTC rebel forces backed by the mean stealth power of NATO strike forces.

The heavy handed dealing by their leader results in the outburst of rage which created the shock and awe situation in the entire global community. These were the moments when the rule of fist episodes was being written in the unfinished chapters of the ‘Green Book’. The shine of his legacy was started to fade away from the sands of his nativity for which he was honored as ‘King of Kings’.

But the brutality of the actual reality revealed the true colors of the Gaddafi supporters and of him as well which took the lives of more than 200,000 souls who brave hearted the struggle against him and his suppression. Many are said to be still missing and many have become the part of this deadly victory. Which clean sweep the well trained force and their leader finally on October 20th 2011 when the so called ‘king of kings’ was struck by the air raid on his convoy running for his life like a mad dog and finally hidden like a rat in a drainage pipes in the deserted city of his hometown Sirte the last arena of his power base falling in the hands of those whom he called once with the same names and now was lying and acting in the same manner.

Lesson for the World Dictators and the violation of human rights by rebels:

What shocked the world and even the entire partly recognized ‘National Transitional Council’ that the treatment which Gaddafi received at the hands of rebels was truly not deserving and unpredictable. Though it was understood that the storm of rage was building up in the minds’ and hearts’ of a common public which rose against and ended the dictator and his regime but the treatment which they gave in the final moments of Col Gaddafi was totally inhuman and unforgiving. The culprits cannot be forgiven and their reasons cannot be justified on any grounds and at all costs for their cruelty and the violations of the human rights protected under ‘Geneva Convention’.

Even though he has done countless atrocities and curbed the raising voices through the iron fist but he too is a human being and no matter how he has been but no religion, no book of law, no culture says that you treat the human or even a devil like this. He must had given a chance to defend himself under the fair trail procedures whereas when he was killed by the rebels his body must be buried and given proper burial rites but instead of doing this they not only killed him while taking him into custody and reporting to the concerned authority but they took his body to Misurata where they kept it in a unhygienic meat freezer for four days making the whole body into a smelling carcass, taking pictures and allowing public to rid of its fear by putting it on national exhibition nevertheless doing the same with his son Mutassim Al Islam as well.

But all an all it is also the lesson to those ones like ‘Syria’s Bashar al Assad’ to stop killing and suppressing his own people and take a step forward towards democracy and freedom to the public not to the government. These leaders should now learn that this is what happens if your collar will fall in hands of the common man whom you have crushed, tortured, suppress with your iron fist and even killed them mercilessly without caring about their cries and pain they were living into and are going through.

The passion and the real pleasure is not in the power of your luxury which these dictators want but serving your people with honesty, providing them with opportunities, raising their level of liberty and freedom of fundamental rights without any un-necessary regulations on them.

Now what for Libya when Gaddafi has gone forever?   

Now since the 42 years old authority gone the question arises what will now happen to the Libyan dream the rebels who fought and those who guided as the support in the war against the pro Gaddafi forces and their dictator, must take the responsibility to form the political system under a democratic format and encourage the youth and those who didn’t served under Gaddafi regime on any of the political positions or in any government departments. The council must represent the sections of all the tribes and communities which form the Libyan nation at large. However before deciding what to do? the international community should help and support the NTC and its leaders to establish the normalcy and national stability in Libya.

Though NATO’s role has ended after Gaddafi’s death but it should take the new responsibility to un-armed the rebels and the general population whom he supplied with the weapons taking into considerations of the National Transitional Council. Otherwise if this not be done and left un-addressed Libya will become the another example similar to Afghanistan where the CIA had armed the Mujahedeen to fight against Soviet Occupancy which started its supplies to armed the public there in 1979 and now the situation is known to everyone that CIA left the Afghan people heavily armed which has transformed not only their country into a banana republic ruled by warlords and mafias without any strong constitutional governance but also the neighboring Pakistan too.

As during the withdrawal of Russian troops from there the local public and the political leaders turned the once peaceful united country into war zone making it the one of the worst civil wars in the human history from the period of 1990 till 1996 under the President ship of Burhanuddin Rabbani and then carried forward by the extremist Taliban who ruled Afghanistan as de-facto rulers turning world into a living hell from then on and now it is a fresh mistake done by the same old culprit who is used to do mistakes all the time earlier it was CIA and now NATO. So, this time West and the US should not left this menace unaddressed otherwise Libyans will turn the globe into rotting flesh where only smells of dead will come and nothing will survive in peace.

Taking the toll not only on their local people but also posing a constant threat to the global peace giving rise to a whole new form of extremism or in other words the orthodox fundamentalist society and system, the US and its allies must learn from their mistake and if they are serious they should not repeat the same in Libya.

UNO must intervene and should pass a resolution which would give responsibility to all the five permanent members specifically France, the UK and the US who not only illegally armed the general public and transformed them into a mean fighting rebels but also equally responsible for the human rights violations committed by them during the war which took numerous civilian lives and unaccounted number of infrastructural damages caused by the ill planned and haphazard way of strike launching and target hitting.

NATO and NTC rebels who killed Gaddafi, who gone on rampage and on looting drive along with the Gaddafi’s surviving family members must be brought to trial under the International Court of Justice and should be made responsible and penalized for their acts and violations carried out in the Libyan civil war.

Even though NATO has declared end to its mission but the actual mission starts now after the end of dictatorship when Libyans face the world nothing in their hands, where there is no formal government, no coordination among the various tribal communities but only a vacuum which they need to fill it up quickly.

End of dictatorship pose the new series of challenges which the newly liberated people of Libya will face and are now has started to face already. The world must come together and unite in an effort to support and help Libyan people in the road to developing their nation as vibrant united democratic nation with due respect and freedom to their fundamental rights.

Otherwise the day is not far that when within a few days of time the new breed of extremists / fundamentalist will rise and grow posing the very danger to the international stability and watering the efforts and sacrifices made by those who dreamt and fought with their lives in hands to get the shine of liberated nation and to establish a true democracy.

Gaddafi claims he is fighting terrorism

Muammar Gaddafi’s forces have recaptured the important coastal towns and Zawiyah Misrata from insurgents, according to state television in the country.

Government forces have said the messages also recaptured the oil city of Ras Lanuf, and was in the morning on the way to the country’s second largest city, Benghazi. The messages are not confirmed from other sources.

Benghazi has been the center of the insurgency against Muammar Gaddafi’s 41 year old regime in the past two weeks. Eyewitnesses reported the heavy shooting in the city of Tripoli on Sunday morning, but it was unclear who was behind the shooting. At the same time drove Gaddafi supporters around honking cars in the Libyan capital.

“I can assure you that there is no ongoing fighting in Tripoli,” said a spokesman for Gaddafi’s regime.

Gaddafi himself asks in an interview the UN or the African Union investigate the riots in the country. “I want a commission of inquiry from the UN or the African Union come to Libya. They should be allowed to work freely without our intervention,” the Libyan leader said, in an interview with French magazine Le Journal du Dimanche.

Gaddafi, who has ruled the country since 1969, can not understand why the outside world not watching the events in Libya with the same eyes that he himself, and he calls for Western support instead of condemnation. “I am surprised that no one understands that this is a fight against terrorism,” he said in the interview.

“Security Services our work. We have helped you a lot in recent years. So why do we get no help back, now when we fight terrorism in Libya,” he said.

British soldiers

London newspaper The Sunday Times writes that the rebels in Libya has taken a group of British commandos captured.

The eight soldiers belonging to the British SAS and special forces escorting a British diplomat when they were captured. The Diplomat was sent to eastern Libya to meet the rebels, but something went wrong. Libyan sources said told the newspaper that the eight soldiers were taken to the rebel-controlled city of Benghazi for questioning.

The British soldiers’ presence must have upset leading Libyan dissidents, who ordered them locked up in a military camp. The rebels fear that Libya’s longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi will use the soldiers’ presence as evidence of a Western intervention in the country and use this to gather support among the people.

The soldiers escorted the British diplomat, should have been sent to the area to facilitate a more high-level visits as part of Britain’s plan to give the rebels diplomatic recognition.

Sunday

In Tripoli, residents woke up to the deafening gunshots Sunday morning. The authorities denied that there was fighting in the city, however, was shot volleys meant as celebration. Gaddafi’s forces had retaken several towns rebellion, was notification.

“I assure you, I assure you. There is no fighting in Tripoli. Everything is safe. Tripoli is 100% under control. What you hear is fireworks. People dancing in the streets, dancing in the square,” said government spokesman Ibrahim Mussa told Reuters.

At the same time says a rebel leader told Reuters that more rebels are on the way to Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, about 500 kilometers from Tripoli. He said fighter jets have launched attacks on rebels.

The major fighting took place Saturday in Zawiyah, where it is reported that at least 30 people were killed. Fighting in the city was intense, “says a contact in the British newspaper the Observer.

“You must tell the world what is happening. Sniper shoots at anything that moves, “a doctor said to Washington Post calling the attack a massacre. “They shoot civilians. They attack us from all sides,” he said.

 

World News Headlines of March 5

Libyan fighting could be ‘sustained conflict’

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China’s Wen delivers “State of the Union”

BEIJING, March 5 (Reuters) – Premier Wen Jiabao delivers China’s version of a “State of Union” address on Saturday. In a prepared text of his speech to the annual parliament session, Wen said that fighting inflation was the government’s top priority and warned about the impact of loose monetary policies in wealthy economies. (For a full story,…

Fury at funeral of Pakistan’s assassinated minister

By M Ilyas Khan BBC News, Khushpur The atmosphere at the funeral of Shahbaz Bhatti, in his predominantly Christian home village, was one of anger and pain Continue reading the main story Related Stories Motives behind Bhatti’s murder Q&A: Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy laws Blasphemy reformer death threats Shahbaz Bhatti’s funeral was not the…

Fighting on in Libya’s oil heartland

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Egypt’s military appoints new PM after Mubarak ally quits

Compiled by Daily Star staff Friday, March 04, 2011 – Powered by –> Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmad Shafiq resigned Thursday and the military asked a former transport minister to form a new government which pro-democracy activists want to be purged of Hosni Mubarak’s old guard. The opposition hailed the decision as another victory for…

New Iraq protests draw thousands amid tight security

Demonstrators calling for better public services and government take to the streets across Iraq despite beefed-up security forces, curfews and bans on vehicle movement. The protests are far less bloody than earlier demonstrations that erupted into violence. Share Related Stories By Alice Fordham and Raheem Salman, Los Angeles Times…

Libya clashes widen, unrest erupts in Tripoli

TRIPOLI – Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi widened attacks on rebel-held areas in an escalation of Libya’s crisis on Friday and unrest spread to the capital when gunmen opened fire to break up dissident protests. Eastern-based rebels pressed home their push to the west with an attack on the oil town of Ras Lanuf, claiming to have taken its airport….

Ivory Coast: parts of Abidjan resemble war zone – UN

Ivory Coast crisis Eyewitness: ‘We were slaughtered’ Life on hold Rebel capital: ‘Running for water’ Q&A: Ivory Coast election crisis Parts of Ivory Coast’s main city of Abidjan resemble a “war zone”, the UN refugee agency head in the West African nation, Jacques Franquin, told the BBC….

Yemen Protesters Claim Attack By Army forces

North Yemen Shi’ite rebels claim military forces fired rockets at their anti-government protest killing two people and wounding seven. A rebel at the scene is reported to have said: “A military site bombed a number of protesters and struck dozens”. More to follow… Political unrest continues across the Middle East with demonstrations expected in…

Analysis: Obama refines talk of Libya intervention

The Obama administration has spoken with two voices on Libya. On the one hand Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said that “nothing is off the table so long as the Libyan Government continues to threaten and kill Libyans.” That talk has been amplified by calls from the Senate Foreign Relations chairman John Kerry and Senators Joe…

Latest World News

 

Maummar Gaddafi – Brotherly Leader not so Brotherly

Introduction: In 1969 when Libyans witnessed a bloodless coup against their ruler King Idris lead by a 27 year old military colonel named Maummar Abu Minyar al Gaddafi also popularly known as Col; Gaddafi born on 7 June 1942 in a Bedouin family in a Libyan town of Sirt, who knows that the this child born in such a simple & nomadic family will become a Great Dictator of all Modern Times. Gaddafi has been a leader of Libya since then. After relinquishing the title of Prime Minister in 1972, he has been accorded the honorifics “Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” or Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution in government statements and the official press. At the start of his rule he introduced various reforms & transformed the country from a Monarch ruled state into a more democratic people’s republic. He then later on introduced the policy of direct governance which he popularly famed as greater democracy or Jamahiriya. But after few years of his rule his actions now shows signs of a harsh dictatorship. He banned media & put controls of press freedom & information accessibility. He now started supporting the anti Western approach which resulted in regional concerns raised by the western allies as they were now seeing him as complete supporter of terrorists’ organizations & PLO. In 1973 when Libya invaded Chad over the dispute of Aouzou Strip which came to an end by the peaceful settlement & withdrawal of Libyan Troops from Chad in 1994. During this period his actions have worsened the relation with Egypt & as with most of the Arab world. So, Gaddafi sought relations with Soviet Bloc & became the first soviet ally country outside the Soviet bloc to receive the MIG-25 combat fighters. In the 1970s & 1980s Gaddafi’s politics had mostly supported for the liberation movements in West Africa & sponsoring international terrorism. He is also been accused as the main sponsor of the Black September Movement which perpetrated the Munich massacre at the 1972 Summer Olympics, and was accused by the United States of being responsible for direct control of the 1986 Berlin discotheque bombing that killed three people and wounded more than 200, of whom a substantial number were U.S servicemen. He had been accused for the Pan Am Flight which came crashing in Lockerbie Scotland & UTA Flight 772 (1989) bombings.

Due to his anti-western policy, Gaddafi gained a negative reputation in western media and diplomatic circles. Referring to his criticism of moderate and pro-western Arab leaders, a US diplomat in 1974 remarked: “While he and his regime do not have reputation among Libyans for spilling blood, we suspect this zealot is capable of justifying in his own mind any attempt to assassinate [Egyptian President] Sadat.” On the other hand, Egyptian diplomat Omar Hefni Mahmoud, at a private conversation, characterized Gaddafi as “brash ‘pure’ young man who had not become corrupted by politics yet.” However, in 1976 another US diplomat referred to Gaddafi as “a more practical and pragmatic politician than we had given him credit for.”

Tensions between Libya and the West reached a peak during the Ronald Reagan administration, which tried to overthrow Gaddafi. The Reagan administration viewed Libya as a belligerent rogue state because of its uncompromising stance on Palestinian independence, its support for revolutionary Iran in the 1980–1988 war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq Iran–Iraq War, and its backing of liberation movements in the developing world. Reagan himself dubbed Gaddafi the “mad dog of the Middle East”. Sanctions & Isolation: An alleged plot by Britain’s secret intelligence service to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi, when rebels attacked Gaddafi’s motorcade near the city of Sirt in February 1996, was described as “pure fantasy” by former foreign secretary Robin Cook, although the FCO later admitted: “We have never denied that we knew of plots against Gaddafi.” All this has lead to imposing of economic sanctions by US in March 1982 since then the relations between the West & Libya deteriorated further leading to economic crisis in Libya. By now Libyan have already realized that their brotherly leader whom he loved & supported all these years, whose career they had nurtured through their veins have now fallen short of his promises & have lead their country to miserable isolation & their leader is now not so brotherly as they have believed him so. The news of corruption & about his enormous wealth is now been coming out in media from long on but to their misery there are no measures which the brotherly leader have taken yet to improve the situation of his people as they are now been deprived from basic facilities like water. Though, few reformed policies have kept a flow of European investments but they are not enough to be met a rising demand of employment & infrastructure. Gaddafi is reported to have amassed a fortune for himself and his family of 60 billion dollars, including shares in Tamoil and one of Italy’s largest banks Unicredit.

9/11 & New Era: When 9/11 happened & US launched his War on Terror which gained momentum year after year whose first victims became Afghanistan & Iraq, in August 2003, two years after Abdelbaset al-Megrahi’s conviction, Libya wrote to the United Nations formally accepting ‘responsibility for the actions of its officials’ in respect of the Lockerbie bombing and agreed to pay compensation of up to US$2.7 billion – or up to US$10 million each – to the families of the 270 victims. The same month, Britain and Bulgaria co-sponsored a UN resolution which removed the suspended sanctions. Libya pledged its commitment to fighting al-Qa’ida and offered to open up its weapons programme to international inspection. Following the attacks of 11 September, Gaddafi made one of the first, and firmest, denunciations of the Al-Qaeda bombers by any Muslim leader. Following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by US forces in 2003, Gaddafi announced that his nation had active weapons of mass destruction program, but was willing to allow international inspectors into his country to observe and dismantle them. US President George W. Bush and other supporters of the Iraq War portrayed Gaddafi’s announcement as a direct consequence of the Iraq War by stating that Gaddafi acted out of fear for the future of his own regime if he continued to keep and conceal his weapons. In the run-up to Blair’s visit, the British ambassador in Tripoli, Anthony Layden, explained Libya’s and Gaddafi’s political change thus:

“35 years of total state control of the economy has left them in a situation where they’re simply not generating enough economic activity to give employment to the young people who are streaming through their successful education system. I think this dilemma goes to the heart of Colonel Gaddafi’s decision that he needed a radical change of direction.”

On 4 March 2008 Gaddafi announced his intention to dissolve the country’s existing administrative structure and disburse oil revenue directly to the people. The plan includes abolishing all ministries, except those of defence, internal security, and foreign affairs, and departments implementing strategic projects. In June 2008, Gaddafi strongly criticised US presidential candidate Barack Obama for saying Jerusalem should remain the undivided capital of Israel, “The statements of our Kenyan brother of American.  nationality, Obama, on Jerusalem … show that he either ignores international politics and did not study the Middle East conflict or that it is a campaign lie.” All these political steps & reforms didn’t spare Gaddafi for his long forced rule which has been triumphed as the longest rule by any non royal leader over a country spanning 41 years. With the death of Omar Bongo of Gabon on 8 June 2009, he became the longest serving of all current non-royal national leaders and he is one of the longest serving rulers in history. He is also the longest-serving ruler of Libya since Libya, then Tripoli, became an Ottoman province in 1551.

As of February 2011, as part of the 2010–2011 Middle East and North Africa protests, the 2011 Libyan protests are ongoing, and have become a mass uprising against Gaddafi, who has lost control of most parts of the country. After Adolf Hitler may be he become a Libyan Furor as he has not even his people who are protesting against him & are fighting for their rights. He as used all the means of torture & weaponry against those people who had one day lifted him in their arms, who had looked him for generations as their brother, as their friend, as their shining leader who will one day changed their lives & bestowed them with happiness & prosperity. But the before the sun rise the shadow of growth had already darkens. So, how long one can force his rules which are not welcome by his family of Jamahiriya, at some or the other point the tide has to be turned by the people themselves who used to be the brothers & family of the leader who is not so brotherly.

Dictators of Africa – Part 7

Muammar Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi Libya 1969 – present

Also known simply as Colonel Gaddafi; born 7 June 1942) has been the de facto leader of Libya since a coup in 1969. From 1972, when Gaddafi relinquished the title of prime minister, he has been accorded the honorifics “Guide of the First of September Great Revolution of the Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya” or “Brotherly Leader and Guide of the Revolution” in government statements and the official press. With the death of Omar Bongo of Gabon on 8 June 2009, he became the longest serving of all current non-royal national leaders. He is also the longest-serving ruler of Libya since Libya, then Tripoli, became an Ottoman province in 1551.

Yahya Jammeh – Gambia – 1994–Present

President of Gambia. Gained power in coup d’état. Right to the press and free speech suppressed. Stood for three elections (1996, 2001, and 2006); last election deemed unfair by opposition.

Laurent-Désiré Kabila – Congo-Kinshasa – 1997–2001

President of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Overthrew Mobutu Sese Seko in coup. No elections held during ongoing, interstate First and Second Congo Wars.

Charles G. Taylor – Liberia – 1997–2003

President of Liberia 1997-2003. Elected, but widely described as a dictator. Linked to “blood diamonds” and illegal arms trading. Believed to have interfered frequently in the internal affairs of neighboring states while a warlord, before his election to the presidency.

François Bozizé – Central African Republic – 2003–present

President of the Central African Republic 2003 to date. Gained power in a coup and suspended the constitution, though he has restored some democracy.

Ely Ould Mohamed Vall – Mauritania – 2005–2007

Chairman of the Military Council for Justice and Democracy. Gained power via a military coup. Though he has said to relinquish power to an elected government in 2007.

 

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