10 African Presidents Who Died In Office And The Causes Of Their Death

African leaders have died in office at a much higher pace than their counterparts on other continents. Between 2008 and 2014, we lost a total of 11 African leaders in the line of duty. They had all experienced mysterious illnesses prior to their deaths and had refuted rumors about their ill health. Here are a few African Presidents who suddenly died while in office.

10. Lansana Conté

Lansana Conté was Guinea’s second president, serving from 3 April 1984 until his death in December 2008. He was a Susu Muslim who belonged to the Susu ethnic group. Guinea’s President, Lansana Conte, died after a long illness and a 24-year reign. The chain-smoking general’s death came as a shock to his people.

9. Joao Barnado Viera

Joo Bernardo “Nino” Vieira served as President of Guinea-Bissau three times: from 1980 to 1984, from 1984 to 1999, and from 2005 to 2009. After assuming power in 1980, Vieira ruled for 19 years, winning a multiparty presidential election in 1994. Vieira was killed by troops on March 2, 2009, allegedly in retaliation for the death of General Batista Tagme Na Waie, Guinea-military Bissau’s chief, in a bomb explosion. After Army officials claimed blame for Vieira’s death, these allegations were officially denied by the military.

8. Omar Bongo Ondimba

Hadj el Hadj is a Tunisian Omar Bongo Ondimba was a Gabonese politician who served as President of Gabon for 42 years, from 1967 until his death in 2009. Omar Bongo was named to key positions as a young official under Gabon’s first President, Léon M’ba, in the 1960s, before being elected Vice-President in 1966. On June 8, 2009, Gabon’s second President, Omar Bongo, died in Spain of colorectal cancer. From June 11 to 18, a month of mourning and a state funeral was observed. Bongo’s coffin was flown to Libreville from Barcelona on June 11 after his death.

7. Umaru Musa Yar’Adua

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Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was Nigeria’s 13th president. He was governor of northern Nigeria’s Katsina State from May 29, 1999, to May 28, 2007. He was declared the winner of Nigeria’s contested presidential election on April 21, 2007, and sworn in on May 29, 2007. In 2009, Yar’Adua traveled to Saudi Arabia for treatment of his pericarditis. He returned to Nigeria on February 24, 2010, and died there on May 5.

6. Muammar Gaddafi.

Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi, also known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s deposed leader, was captured and killed during the Battle of Sirte on October 20, 2011. Gaddafi was found in a culvert west of Sirte and apprehended by the National Transitional Council’s powers. He was assassinated not long after.

5. Malam Bacai Sanhá

Malam Bacai Sanhá was a Guinean politician who served as President of Guinea-Bissau from September 8, 2009 to January 9, 2012. Malam Bacai Sanha, the president of Guinea-Bissau in West Africa, died at the age of 64 in a French hospital.

4. Bingu wa Mutharika

Bingu wa Mutharika was a Malawian politician and economist who served as President of Malawi from May 2004 to April 2012. Mutharika died on April 5, 2012, at the age of 78. He had a heart attack and was reportedly flown to a South African hospital due to power outages in Lilongwe.

3. John Atta Mills

President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012, John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills was a Ghanaian politician and legal scholar. He was sworn in on January 7, 2009, after defeating the ruling party’s candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 election. Mills died on July 24, 2012, at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra, three days after his 68th birthday. He had throat cancer and had recently traveled to the United States for medical purposes, though the cause of death was not immediately disclosed.

2. Meles Zenawi Asres

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Meles Zenawi Asres was an Ethiopian politician who served as Ethiopia’s 7th Prime Minister from 1995 to 2012. Since 1989, he has been the chairman of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front and since 1991, the leader of Ethiopia’s Progressive Democratic People’s Front. Meles Zenawi died in Belgium after developing an infection. Minister of Media Bereket Simon said on state television that it was a sad day for Ethiopia. The man who has led our country for the past 21 years and initiated economic and political reforms has died.

1. Michael Charles Chilufya Sata

Michael Charles Chilufya Sata was the fifth President of Zambia, serving from September 23, 2011 until his death on October 28, 2014. He was a Social Democrat who led the Patriotic Front, Zambia’s largest political party. Michael Sata died at the age of 77 after receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness….See More 

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