Lest We Forget: Assassinations Of African Presidents (Caught on Film)

Lest We Forget: Assassinations Of African Presidents (Caught on Film)

PLEASE BEWARE: The videos embedded or linked on this post are disturbing.

The Public Torture of Muammar Gadaffi, Libyan Leader 1969-2011

Until the Arab Spring wave hit the country he had led for four decades, Libyan leader Muammar Ghadaffi was an eccentric dictator known for his theatrics and manic dreams. The rebellion surprised him, and he reacted by bringing out the big guns. France, backed by NATO, joined the fight, setting the scenario for an all-out war.

When he finally realized he was losing, Gadaffi attempted to flee to Niger. He would have made it had it not been for a satellite call he made, presumably thinking it couldn’t be tracked. The deposed leader’s convoy was bombed by NATO jets, forcing him and his men to flee on foot. Wounded, Gadaffi sought shelter in a culvert where the rebels soon found and dragged him out. Many videos of the gruesome events that followed are available online, with most showing his torture and torment at the hands of his captors.

In one Gaddafi is stabbed repeatedly in the ass with a bayonet. In another, he is draped onto the hood of a car by rebels shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. He asks his captors ‘Do you know right from wrong.’ Later, he is seen being stripped to the waist…and then lying in a pool of blood.  Another video show his captors toying with his lifeless body, pulling his head up and down. There is no known video of the actual moment of his death and the circumstances of his murder have been the subject of speculation and controversy.

Omran Shaban, the man who discovered Gadaffi in the culvert and posed with his golden gun, was later shot by pro-Gadaffi fighters in Bani Walid. He was tortured and paralysed. Shaban died while undergoing treatment in France.


 Torture of Samuel Doe, Liberia’s first native President 1986-1990

Samuel Doe and his awesome afro reigned supreme over Liberia from 1980 to 1990. Before 1980, he was a lowly soldier with no dreams of ever being a president. His journey to the presidency started as a joke with his fellow soldiers. Before long, the joke became a plan, and then became a coup. Doe made many enemies, one of them being the dashing fellow psychopath Charles Taylor. Taylor launched a large scale guerrilla war against Doe such that by 1990, most of Liberia was under rebel hands. In Taylor’s camp, a group calling itself the Independent National Patriotic Front of Liberia broke away. The ragtag militia was led by an eccentric psychopath called Prince Johnson.

In 1990, while Doe was visiting the ECOMOG peacekeeping headquarters in Monrovia, the INPFL attacked the camp. They out manouvered Doe’s security and the peacekeepers, and captured the President. The rebels brought Doe before Johnson. They stripped him naked except for his underpants. In the video, Doe is sitting on the floor and one of his tormentors holds a microphone to his face. He is begging Johnson for his life: “Yomi, two people fight, one win. Spare me, please.” Johnson sternly tells Doe “Don’t fuck with me!

Johnson lords over the gruesome scene of a room filled with rebels. He is calmly sitting on a swivel chair underneath a picture of Jesus. In one hand, he holds a walkie talkie and the other, a Budweiser. The room is overly hot, and for most of the video, one of the few female rebels fans him with a piece of cloth. She also gets him another beer, and then water. He is the picture of the ultimate maniac.

On the other side, Doe sits on the floor begging for his life. The camera oscillates between the two scenes. At some point, the rebels hold him back as one of them cuts off his ears. He does it almost casually, and when Doe is allowed to sit up again, he is earless and bleeding onto his naked body. They also cut off his fingers and toes.There is a second video of him being interviewed while seated outside, naked. Doe’s actual death was not captured on camera, but he died later that day in unclear circumstances. Johnson accepted responsibility, saying “He was in our custody, it was my responsibility.” It is said that Doe’s body was later cooked and eaten by the rebels.

Samuel Doe’s Body with a missing arm
Image by © Patrick Robert/Sygma/Corbis

They then placed his body on a stretcher. If you look closely, you can see his right hand is missing most fingers, and one small toe appears to be missing.

After killing Doe, Johnson claimed power but later fled to Nigeria. He laterreturned to Liberia and was elected to the Senate. In 2011, he ran against Ellen Johnson for president but placed third.


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