5. Mobutu Sese Seko, DR Congo (1965-1997)
Born Joseph-Desire Mobutu in 1930 in Lisala, Belgian Congo, Mobutu Sese Seko was a military dictator and president of the Democratic Republic of Congo between 1965 and 1997, when he was overthrown by late-President Laurent Kabila.
During his reign, Mobutu employed authoritarian tactics to strangle dissenting voices, amassed vast personal wealth, and attempted to take the country back to a colonial culture, while he enjoyed considerable support from the United States, which was opposed to communism.
His regime was notorious for corruption, nepotism, rape, torture, extrajudicial killings, and political repression.
Many refer to him as the “archetypal African dictator.”
In 1996, he ordered all members of the Tutsi ethnic group to leave DR Congo (previously known as Zaire) or be killed. This group later became the center of rebellion against Mobutu.
In 1997, Laurent-Desire Kabila, with the help of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, managed to overrun DRC, forcing Mobutu in to exile in Togo.
He later moved to Morocco, where he died in September 1997. He was married to the late-Marie-Antoinette Mobutu and Bobi Ladawa Mobutu, with whom he had 14 children.