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Leadership and Democracy: 7 Worst Black Dictators in History


If you really want to be honest, then you’ll agree that black countries have had their fair share of horrible dictators. After they fought through colonialism between the 1950s and the early 90s, most of the countries fell into dictatorship leadership. Here, we’ll bring you the list of the most brutal black dictators in history. 

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Robert Mugabe

The former president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, has long been known as a dictator who ruined his country. Robert Mugabe became the first democratically elected president of Zimbabwe in 1980. 

The election that brought him into power was fair and really represented the will of the people of Zimbabwe at that time. During his first tenure as the first democratically elected president of his country, he was an answered prayer to the war that had ripped through the nation for years. 

But as time passed, Mugabe was able to quietly seize power completely. The country’s elections also moved from being free and fair to becoming more like sham elections. Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe for 37 years. He was forced out of power by a military coup that placed him on house arrest. 

Many reputable authors have written about Mugabe. You find the books on Amazon. Getting the books will help you learn more about how he maintained power for 37 years. 

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General Sani Abacha

Late General Sani Abacha was a dictator who ruled Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. The late army general is remembered for the corruption and ruthlessness of his administration as the Nigerian military head of state. 

During his time, he looted over $1 billion from the nation, and his tenure was characterized by state-directed violence. Abacha took part in two coups before the third one that brought him into power in 1993. 

Idi Amin Dada

Idi Amin Dada was a Ugandan politician and military officer who served as the third president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. He ruled the people of Uganda as a military dictator, and he’s known as the most notorious of Africa’s post-independence dictators.

Idi came into power in 1971 through a military coup and ruled for eight years. During this time, Amin killed or imprisoned not less than 100,000 of those who didn’t support his leadership style. He lost power in 1979, after which he went into exile.

Charles Taylor

Liberia is one of the oldest black African countries with the longest history of exploitation, corruption, and brutal repression. Charles Taylor was among the dictators who ruled the country. 

He was a Liberian former politician and convicted war criminal who served as the 22nd president of Liberia. Charles was also the principal sponsor of the rebel leader in neighboring Sierra Leone

Macias Nguema

Macías Nguema was an Equatoguinean politician who served as the first President of Equatorial Guinea. He got involved in Equatorial Guinea’s politics at a young age. 

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His popularity helped him glitch the seat of the number one citizen of Equatorial Guinea in the country’s first post-colonial elections. Four years after becoming the president, Macias declared his position lifelong. He said that he has the right to choose who succeeds him. 

As a president, Macias harshly suppressed his known supporters and failed to respect the rights of his people. Macias ruled for eleven years until his nephew Teodoro Obiang Nguema took the challenge and organized a military coup in 1979.

The coup took Macías Nguema’s life and the people of Equatorial Guinea celebrated his death sentence for his crime against their country. When preparing to write this article, we found some books that give a detailed account of Macías Nguema on Amazon. You can get the books to learn more about him. 

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Omar Al-Bashir

Born January 7, 1944, Omar Al-Bashir is a Sudanese former military officer and politician. He was born into a decent family that later relocated to Khartoum, where he attended secondary school. 

Omor Al-Bashir studied at a military college in Cairo. He was among the Egyptian soldiers who fought the 1973 war against Israel. On returning to Sudan, he was promoted. In 1989, he became the president of Sudan. 

He ruled as a dictator from 1989 to 2019, when he was removed by coup. Omar was subsequently tried and convicted on several corruption charges. 

Hissene Habre

Hissène Habre, was a Chadian former head of state and convicted war criminal. He ruled as the 5th president of Chad from 1982 until he was forcefully removed in 1990. 

Habre seized power from a former rebel comrade, Goukouni Oueddei, who had won the elections. His time in office was filled with harsh policies that weren’t improving the lives of his people. 

In 2016, he was found guilty of the crimes he committed while in office. The former president was said to have encouraged rape, killings, and sex slavery while in office. 

When most black countries gained independence, they thought that they were finally free at last. But they never knew that they’ll be ruled by leaders with no empathy. 

The seven former black heads of state covered here are among the worst black dictators in history. Many books about them are available on Amazon, you can get these books to learn more about their style of leadership. 

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Uchenna Agwu
Uchenna Agwu
Hi there! I’m Uchenna Agwu, and I love to write. When I’m not writing, you can usually find me reading books or watching documentaries (I’m a bit of a nerd). But I also like to get out and explore – whether that means going on hikes or checking out new restaurants.


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