Gabon coup: 5 African Presidents with longest-serving tenures

5 African Presidents with longest-serving tenures

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A wave of coups has swept through Africa, with Gabon being the latest country affected by military intervention.

As frequent coups raise concerns about political stability and governance, many attribute these power shifts to the perpetuity of some African leaders in office.

Tribune Online presents some of the longest-serving African presidents and the number of years they’ve been in power:

Paul Biya (42 years)

Cameroon’s president since 1982, Biya has remained in power through elections and is criticised for repression and human rights abuses.

Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (44 years)

Equatorial Guinea’s president since 1979, making him the longest-serving African president. Obiang’s rule has been marked by accusations of repression, torture, and killings of political opponents.

King Mswati III (36 years)

Eswatini, Africa’s last remaining absolute monarchy, has been ruled by King Mswati III for 36 years. He ascended to the throne in April 1986 aged just 18.

Yoweri Museveni (35 years)

Uganda’s president since 1986, Museveni has faced growing criticism for authoritarianism and efforts to stay in power, including removing term limits. He is the third oldest head of state in Africa, at 79.

Denis Sassou (36 years)

President of the Republic of the Congo since 1979 and has since been re-elected three times. He is currently among the oldest heads of state in Africa, at 80. Sassou has faced allegations of corruption, poor governance, and human rights violations.

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