In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the 3 Young and Powerful military rulers In Africa. Of course, this is by no means an official or exhaustive list, but it’s a lineup of 3 young military movers & shakers who wield enormous influence in Africa’s political circles.
Lt Gen Mahamat Idriss Deby.
Number one on our list of young and powerful military rulers in Africa is Lt Gen Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno the current leader in Chad.
General Mahamat was named as the leader of Chad after the demise of his father Idriss Déby who was killed by rebel forces.
According to a comprehensive report by BBC, Mahamat has a reputation for discretion and shunning the limelight, unlike some of his half-brothers. However, he is a battle-hardened soldier like his father. Mahamat, now 38, was the same age as the late Déby was when he took power through a military coup in 1990.
Prior to his father’s death, Mahamat was the leader of the elite presidential guard, a unit that played an important role in securing Idriss Déby’s grip on power. Mahamat was one of several members of the late president’s family who occupied senior positions in the government. He was reportedly at the frontline when his father was injured in combat against rebels in the western Kanem Province.
Mahamat is known as “General Kaka” because he was brought up by his grandmother, or “Kaka” in Chadian Arabic.
Colonel Assimi Goita.
Mali’s current leader Colonel Assimi Goita is a smart and calculated man with his country’s best interests at heart. He was the son of a former director of Mali’s military police. Wanting to be like his father, he studied at the country’s main military school.
In 2002, he went to Mali’s desert north for training and was subsequently based in the northern cities of Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu, Menaka and Tessalit.
Prior to his ascension to the throne of power, little was known about Asimi Goita until August 18, 2020, when he burst onto the political stage by launching a military coup that ousted the democratically elected President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
Asimi Goita seized power after weeks of mass protests over perceived corruption and Keita’s failure to end Mali’s armed rebellion.
According to rfi Goita received training from the US during the course of his career and was involved in US training exercises in West Africa, as well as attending Joint Special Operations University in Tampa, Florida. He is also reported to have received training from France, Germany and Russia.
He speaks English well enough to fulfil the language requirements needed to study at the military university, as well as some German, according to Duhon, besides, of course, French and Bambara.
Mali’s military junta, led by Goita, has bided its time since the takeover. It has held numerous meetings, received a mediation team from the West African regional bloc Ecowas and updated the press regularly.
Always seen doning his military fatigues with a khaki shemagh scarf tied around his neck, Goita has been seen in public since the military takeover. The 38 year old former special forces commander has shunned the limelight since arriving on Mali’s political scene, remains an enigma.
Col Mamady Doumbouya.
Third on our list 3 young and powerful military rulers is Col Mamady Doumbouya who recently took over power after leading a coup against President Alpha Condé.
The young charismatic soldier is 41 years of age and he’s married to a French National. He hails from the same community just like the deposed president from Malinke, Guinea’s eastern Kankan region.
Col Doumbouya has always kept a low profile and you hardly see him at events. This was stated by BBC’s Guinea reporter, Alhassan Sillah, who also made the following claim after he met him at a rare outing; “He was the stand-out man because of his physique, height, and dark shades. He led the parade, saluting heads of state and the crowd. Everyone was taking photographs of him, and cheering him – just as they have been cheering him now,”
Col Doumbouya’s ascension to power makes him only the second-youngest leader of an African state. Only Mali’s Col Assimi Goïta, who has been in power since staging a coup in May, is younger, having been born in 1983.
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