Sunday, November 04, 2012

LIST: Africa's longest-serving leaders

PARIS, France - On Tuesday, November 6, Cameroonian President Paul Biya passes the milestone of 3 decades at the head of his west African state.

A list of Africa's longest-serving leaders:

33 years: Teodoro Obiang Nguema, Equatorial Guinea. Came to power in a coup on August 3, 1979.

33 years: Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Angola. Leader of the party which won independence from Portugal in 1975, Dos Santos has been in power since September 20, 1979.

32 years: Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe. The only remaining African leader to have been continuously in power since his country's independence, Mugabe became prime minister in April 1980 and president in 1987.

26 years: Yoweri Museveni, Uganda. Came to power in January 1986 after winning the war which ousted the brutal regime of Idi Amin Dada, with help from neighbouring Tanzania.

26 years: King Mswati III, Swaziland. Acceded to the throne of the tiny southern African kingdom in April 1986, four years after the death of his father.

25 years: Blaise Compaore, Burkina Faso. Came to power in October 1987, after a coup which ousted his former comrade in arms, Thomas Sankara.

23 years: Omar al-Beshir, Sudan. Has ruled since he seized power in a coup in June 1989.

21 years: Idriss Deby Itno, Chad. Emerged as the leader of the arid north-central African state in December 1990, after the war which ousted the regime of Hissein Habre.

All-time record holders

The longest-serving leaders of post-colonial African countries have been:

Emperor King Haile Selassie, who was ousted from power in Ethiopia in 1974 after 44 years.

Muammar Kadhafi of Libya, who ruled his north-African state for almost 42 years after a coup in 1969. Kadhafi was ousted and then killed in 2011, by a rebel movement backed by western warplanes.

Omar Bongo Ondimba, who ruled the west African state of Gabon for over 41 years until his death in October 2011. He was then succeeded by his son.

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