Monday March 04, 2024

World leaders ditched by army amid popular revolts

April 12, 2019

PARIS: After Sudan’s army removed Omar al-Bashir from power on Thursday, here are some other cases where world leaders have fallen after the military sided with popular protests.

Algeria: Abdelaziz Bouteflika - In power for two decades, Algeria’s ailing 82-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika resigned on April 2 after the army dropped its vital support and backed weeks of mass protests demanding he step down. Protests started in February against his candidacy for a fifth mandate in presidential elections. As public anger grew, Bouteflika announced he would not stand in the polls and delayed elections without setting a new date.

Zimbabwe: Robert Mugabe - Abandoned by his party and the army, the oldest serving leader in the world at 93, Robert Mugabe submitted his resignation to parliament on November 21, 2017. There had been a series of massive street protests the previous year demanding Mugabe step down, with security forces routinely cracking down on such dissent. But the army itself took a stand in November 2017 after Mugabe sacked his vice president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who had close ties with the military. It warned it could intervene to stop a purge of Mugabe’s rivals, and put the veteran leader under effective house arrest. .

Egypt: Hosni Mubarak - In January 2011 mass protests broke out against Egypt’s leader for nearly three decades, Hosni Mubarak, a former air force commander. In 18 days of mass protests against his rule, some 850 people were killed. There were reports of soldiers shedding their uniforms to join the protests and on February 10 the military said it would respond to the “legitimate” demands of the people and “protect the nation”. Finally, on February 11, Mubarak resigned and handed power to the military. It suspended the constitution and appointed a caretaker cabinet until elections in June 2012 made Islamist Mohamed Morsi Egypt’s first civilian democratically elected president. After mass protests against Morsi’s divisive rule, the military led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew him in July 2013. General Sisi took power.

Mali: Moussa Traore - Having seized power in a coup in 1968, Mali’s General Moussa Traore was toppled on March 26, 1991 when soldiers turned against him after he had sent them to crack down on weeks of protests against his dictatorship. Scores were killed in violent repression of the demonstrations, and the armed forces eventually refused to use their weapons against the Malian people. The coup was led by paratrooper Amadou Toumani Toure, who handed power to a civilian government before he himself was elected president.