It has been evident that World Powers have been directly or indirectly influencing African Politics for Decades.
Here are the Top 10 African President Assassinated by World Powers.
1. Thomas Sankara- President of Burkina Faso Age: 37 Assassinated 15 October 1987
Thomas Sankara became the President of Upper Volta and changed its name to Bukina Faso. He developed into the symbol of economic revolution and an icon of many of African’s poor. After only four years in power, another coup staged by his former colleague, Blaise Compaore thought to have been planned by France, brought an end to his reign.
Sankara was caught and assassinated. The African continent mourned his loss. Despite his death at a relatively young age, Africa’s Che Guevara won the hearts of many young and old.
Several books have been written about him and his time at the top.
2. Patrice Lumumba – Prime Minister of DR Congo, Age 34 Assassinated 17 January 1961
Patrice Lumumba was announced Prime Minister in June 1960 .He endured a tumultuous tenure plagued by the Congo Crisis.
After failing to get the support of the US and the UN in fighting the secession, Lumumba turned to the Soviets-a cardinal sin in the era of the cold war. And With the help of The USA and Belgium Patrice Emery Lumumba was executed by firing squad. His body was dug up and dissolved in sulfuric acid while the bones were ground and scattered.
3. Muammar Gaddafi – President of Libya Age: 69 Assassinated 20 October 2011
Like several African leaders in the 60s, Gaddafi took power in a coup d’état from the absolute monarchy of King Idris. In 2011, an anti-Gaddafi uprising broke out resulting in civil war. Eventually, US and NATO-backed rebels brought down Gaddafi’s government and through the help of the US and NATO Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed.
4. Marien Ngouabi- President of The Republic of Congo Aged 38 Assassinated March 18, 1977
President Ngouabi changed the country’s name Congo to the People’s Republic of the Congo, declaring it to be Africa’s first Marxist–Leninist state.
It is claimed that Ngouabi was under French pressure to annex the oil-rich Cabinda, a part of the Portuguese Angola, and his refusal to act cost him French support. Soon after losing French support President Ngouabi was assassinated. Those accused of taking part in the assassination were tried and some were executed.
5. Samuel Doe -President of Liberia
Liberia had been politically dominated by Americo-Liberians for over a century until Samuel Doe took power through a Military Coup.
Doe opened Liberian to Canadian, Soviet, Chinese and European Investments. This brought in considerable foreign investment from foreign firms and earned Liberia a reputation as a tax haven.
In the late 1980s, as the US government became disenchanted with Doe’s government and began cutting off critical foreign aid. This placed him in a very precarious position.
Charles Taylor, a former ally of Samuel Doe, broke out of a jail in the United States and soon, President Doe was captured tortured and executed.
6. Cyprien Ntaryamira President of Burundi Age: 39 Assassinated on 6 April 1994
The president was compromise choice to become President to ease the tension in Burundi at the time, but only six months after assuming office, Ntaryamira was dead. He was with his friend Habryarimana, President of neighboring Rwanda, when their plane was shot out of the sky while landing in Kigali.
7. Anwar Sadat president of Egypt Aged 62 Assassinated 6 October 1981
Sadaat was a man of oratory, charm, style and swagger with a knack for risk taking even with the possibilities of potential political cost. al-Sadaat was assassinated at a Military parade in 1981 by a group of officers who were discontent about the Peace deal he had just made with Israel The treaty was extremely unpopular in most of the Arab World and the wider Muslim World.
8. Juvenal Habyarimana President of Rwanda
After ruling a nation for 21 years, his official airplane was blasted into nothingness by unidentified assassins while trying to land at the Kigali International Airport. The president was with his friend and president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira,.
The assassinations of the two top men ignited the tensions in the region and sparked the bloody Rwandan Genocide that claimed about a million lives. Rwanda later accused France of complicity in the Genocide.
9. Laurent Kabila Age: President of Democratic Republic of Congo 61 Assassinated 18 January 2001
In 1997, when Zaire needed a saviour from the dictatorial grip of Mobutu Sese Seko, in came rebel leader – Laurent Kabila.
He had a decent background in business but he dropped that for the guns and became a key player in the First Congo War. After ousting Mobutu’s regime, Kabila began genuine reforms. Within a few days in office, he changed the country’s name from Zaire to the Democratic Republic of Congo. But He would not be allowed to go far with his visions for his people by The Powers that be. One of his bodyguards shot him Kabila battled with death for another two days before dying.
10. Sylvanus Olympio – President of Togo Aged 60 Assassinated January 13, 1963
Olympio became the 1st Prime Minister of Togo and His power was further cemented when Togo achieved independence and he won the 1961 election making him the first President of Togo. French treated Olympio with significant hostility during the transition to independence and became concerned that Olympio was largely aligned with British and American interests. He was assassinated by the military and his body was discovered by the U.S. Ambassador three feet from the door to the U.S. Embassy.
Olympio is remembered as the first President to be assassinated during a military coup in Africa.