Top Ten Most Evil Dictators of All Time (in order of kill count); Gowon, Leopold, Hitler…


October 11th, 2012

NewsRescue- In this list prepared by Juan Carlos, the unusuals include, Nigeria’s dictator from the Middle Belt, the young Christian general Yakubu Gowon who, together with his army general, ex president, Olusegun Obasanjo, led the infamous Biafra assault. Also on the list is Belgian king, Leopold, who according to popular counts, exterminated no less than 25 Million Africans especially in the Congo valley. His numbers are more than listed below. Leopold’s statue is still revered in Belgium and many colleges are named after the man behind Africa’s most grave holocaust. Not included in the list however is George W. Bush, the president of America who caused the death of over 2 million in the Iraq false WMD war.

This is Juan Carlos’ list:

Top Ten Most Evil Dictators of All Time (in order of kill count)

Some people make horrible decisions, others are just bad presidents, a few are bloodthirsty, many are extremists, a couple are warmongers, and all of these guys are a mix. Ten of our political leaders in the last 130 years have been the architects of the most horrific genocides, systematic murders, blockades, brutal wars, and policy reforms history has ever recorded.

Where to begin? Maybe an icebreaker for you next dinner party? Did you know the word “genocide” was coined in 1943 to describe when the Armenians were slaughtered haphazardly by Turkish leader Ismail Enver? Until then there was no specific word for it in our language. It makes me think about how much more cognizant we’ve become in this last century to these events. So, a quick toast between you and I to a more peaceable future where less of what follows below is allowed to happen. Sit back, but don’t relax.

10. Yakubu Gowon (1.1 million deaths)

Breakdown: 1 million civilians on the wrong side of a blockade caused by a war of secession in Nigeria and 100,000 soldiers who died in that war.

It starts as many sad stories do with precious beautiful oil. It had been found in the Niger delta where tensions were already high between the Eastern region (led by Ojukwu) and the rest of the country (governed by Yakubu). A dummy agreement was signed between them called the “Aburi Accord”, but it meant nothing to either leader. Yakubu started to put pressure on the region, and tested how much sway he had in the area versus Ojukwu. Well Ojukwu being no slouch declared secession from the rest of Nigeria and became the “Republic of Biafra”. This began a war that caused the deaths of 100,000 soldiers, and much worse, disagreements and tactical maneuvers involved a blockade of the region which starved up to 1 million civilians.

9. Mengistu Haile Mariam (400,000 – 1.5 million deaths)

Breakdown: As president of Ethiopia and colonel of  “the Derg” (communist militia) Mengitsu systematically killed those against him in the “Red Terror” campaign.

Mengistu Haile Mariam is (as in still alive) a politician who presided over Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991. The way he got into power was by smothering the previous president Haile Selassie although he has denied those rumors. His biggest claim to fame is the Ethiopian Red Terror which was a campaign of repression led by the Derg (communist militia in Ethiopia).

In his introductory speech Mengitsu yelled, “Death to counterrevolutionaries! Death to the EPRP!” Then he took three bottles filled with blood and threw them to the ground.

It was an auspicious beginning to say the least. Thousands were killed and found dead on the streets in the years that followed. Much of the murdering can be attributed to the friendly neighborhood watch there known as “Kebeles”. As if killing innocents wasn’t enough they would then charge the family a tax to return the dead body to them. The tax was aptly named “the wasted bullet”! Are you serious Mengitsu? However there was an even more gruesome fate of being left on the street where wild hyenas would fight over the dead. The campaign has been described as one of the worst mass murders ever in Africa. Mengitsu is even known to have garroted people to death.

8. Kim Il Sung (1.6 million deaths)

Breakdown: Unpopular among his people Kim used the U.S. as a scapegoat and forced the country to believe in his delusion or else.

Before our very own Kim Jong-Il was his murderous father Kim Il Sung who led North Korea in a terrible direction. He fought for a command economy that allowed the government to make all decisions for the country. For various reasons the people never seemed to love the man, and so his hold on power was tenuous at best. Like most crazies he blamed somebody else, in this case the USA, and said they had spread disease throughout its population. He also pulled a Stalin, and had large-scale purges. His underlying reason was that it would scare people into believing he was telling the truth.  Kim’s purge was a little different than Stalin’s though in that there were no trials.  During his tenure prison camps sprung up all over the country to contain the ever growing masses of people against Kim Il Sung.

7. Pol Pot (1.7 million deaths)

Breakdown: Forced city folk to relocate to farms and forced them into hard labor.

Pol Pot was the leader of the communist movement in Cambodia. He attempted to “cleanse” the country and it resulted in the death of an estimated 1.7 to 2.5 million people. There was an interesting policy going around called agrarian collectivization which he put into practice in the late 1970′s. Basically it forced city folk to head out to the farms to do some labor and vice versa for farmers. As you might guess, and hindsight is 20/20, neither group was very good at their new jobs. Pol didn’t stop at enslaving his own people though. He also didn’t feed them well, gave them little medical care, and executed many of them. The net result was killing off approximately 1/5 of the Cambodian population!

6. Ismail Enver Pasha (2.5 million deaths)

Breakdown: 1,200,000 Armenians (1915) + 350,000 Greek Pontians and 480,000 Anatolian Greeks (1916-22) + 500,000 Assyrians (1915-20)

He began his career as a Turkish military officer and leader in the Young Turk revolution. Eventually he rose to power and led the Ottoman Empire in both Balkan Wars and World War I. As a war minister Enver was not very useful, and was defeated over and over. His crushing loss at the Battle of Sarikamish needed a scapegoat, and that’s when he decided to blame Armenians for the failure. That is what began what is now known as the Armenian Genocide. The word “genocide” was coined to describe this event.

Etymology from Wikipedia:
Coined in 1943 by Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), a PolishJewish legal scholar, to describe what the Turkish government (ca 1915–18) perpetrated against the Armenian people, now called the Armenian Genocide. From the stem of Ancient Greek (génos), “race, kind” or Latin “tribe, clan” (-cide).

5. Hideki Tojo (5 million deaths)

Breakdown: Waged unprovoked wars against China, USA, Netherlands, and France.

Hideki Tojo was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army. He assumed the position of Prime Minister and held Army Minister concurrently. As if that wasn’t enough he also held other major positions like Home Minister, Foreign Minister, Education Minister, and Commerce Minister. His major contributions to education were teaching militaristic and nationalist indoctrination. His version of homeland security was approving eugenics measures which essentially made a distinction between pure blood and mixed blood Japanese families.

During World War II Tojo started winning battles and the public loved him for it. He really bought into the Nazi Kool-aid, and held steadfastly with Germany. When the tide turned, and he began losing, it was devastating. Eventually he went into seclusion. He was tried for war crimes and found guilty of waging wars of aggression, wars in violation of international law, and waging unprovoked war against many countries. Not to mention ordering, authorizing, and permitting inhumane treatment of Prisoners of War.

4. Adolf Hitler (17 million deaths)

Breakdown: Concentration camps and civilians in WWII.

Adolf Hitler was the leader of the Nazi Party. He was the absolute dictator of Germany from 1934 to 1945. He gained support by promoting values like German nationalism and anti-semitism. Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933 and began the Third Reich. Hitler was power hungry as all hell, hated the shit out of Jews (and others), and wanted  hegemony in Europe. The militarization that was needed to complete such a lofty goal led to the outbreak of World War II. Nazi forces engaged in the systematic murder of as many as 17 million civilians,an estimated six million of whom were Jews, and 1.5 million Romanis.

Imposing statue of King Leopold II on his horse is proudly found at Place du Trône which is surrounding the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium. How about a Hitler statue of same sort in Germany?

NewsRescue- Imposing statue of King Leopold II on his horse, proudly found at Place du Trône surrounding the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium. How about a Hitler statue of same sort in Germany?

3. Leopold II of Belgium (2-25 million deaths)

Breakdown: Created a colony called the “Congo Free State”, enslaved its people, and forced them into labor plants. Built Belgium on the wealth of Congo. Established colonization doctrines at the Berlin conference.

Leopold II was the King of the Belgians, and believed in colonialism. He thought acquiring colonies overseas was essential to a great country and was always scheming. The problem was Belgium really didn’t care, and so Leopold went into business for himself. He started a company that seemed like it was doing good called the International African Society. A year later he used that company to travel to Congo, laid claim to a plot of land 14 times the size of Belgium, and made 14 countries agree (USA included) that he was free to rule it with his own private militia. He then forced the indigenous populations into forced labor, created a bustling rubber industry, and abused his workers grievously.

Missionary John Harris on returning from Congo said:
“I have just returned from a journey inland to the village of Insongo Mboyo. The abject misery and utter abandon is positively indescribable.”

Estimates of the death toll range from two to twenty-five million which could all have been avoided if 14 countries didn’t hand him the keys to the car!

2. Jozef Stalin (23 million deaths)

Breakdown: The great purges and Ukraine’s famine.

Jozef Stalin was the first Secretary of the Communist Party from 1922 – 1953. After Lenin’s death in 1924, he became the leader of the Soviet Union. Stalin didn’t take long in launching a new economy that screwed up food production across the country so bad it caused massive famine. Between 1922-23 it reached such catastrophic proportions everything went to shit. In Ukraine this dark period is known as Holodomor. Its widely believed that Soviet policies caused the famine there and was designed as an attack on Ukrainian nationalism. Estimates on the total number of casualties within Soviet Ukraine range from 2.6 million to 10 million! During the late 1930s Stalin launched another wonderfully titled initiative called the Great Purge (also known as the “Great Terror”). It was a paranoid campaign to kill off the people who opposed him, and his targets were often executed.

In 1939 Stalin agreed to a non-aggression pact with the Nazis. Eventually Germany violated the pact, the Soviet Union joined the allies, and they racked up 23.9 million deaths (the largest death toll in the war).

1. Mao Zedong (49-78 million deaths)

Breakdown: Policy reforms like the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

Mao Zedong was a Chinese revolutionary, political theorist, and communist leader who led the People’s Republic of China. Mao, while controversial, is still widely considered a savior of the nation. I did a semester abroad in China in 2001 after falling in love with its history, and was surprised in my conversations that many people thought Mao had done 70% – 80% good things. During  his first five years from 1949 – 53 he is said to have systematically killed between 4 to 6 million people by sentencing them to die or by sending them to “reform through labor” camps. He organized mass repressions, established execution quotas, and defended his actions in these early years as necessary for securing power for “The People’s Republic of China”.

His social programs the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution are two of the most ill-fated, poorly named, initiatives ever. The first was an effort to rapidly industrialize China. His focus was on making China a premier exporter of steel, and to this end he asked everybody to make  it. The problem was it got many citizens to make smelting shops in their backyards. Not only was the steel of little value, but it was made from everything lying around the house including their own cooking supplies! Without the tools to make food, no money coming in from the steel, and no money to survive ~ a lot of people starved to death. The estimates on this program alone are 20 million deaths! Think about that number. Really think about it. Then ask yourself… why would you EVER let someone back into power after such an insanely bad decision.Well, they took the reigns away from him for a short time.

In the interim Mao started the socialist education movement. He aimed the concept at young ones who would eventually wrest the power away from the older guard. By 1964 this movement was renamed the “four cleanups movement” whose goal was cleansing politics, economics, ideas, and organization of “reactionaries”. This led to the formation of the “Red Guards” who were organized to punish intellectuals and take out Mao’s political adversaries. The Cultural Revolution was now underway, and its overriding mission was to abolish: Old Customs, Old Culture, Old Habits, and Old Ideas. Something Mao fervently believed in was that destruction and chaos could bring re-birth. So he told his followers to destroy buildings, sacred objects, talk back to ones elders, punish them, turn them in, and kill those who did not agree. By 1968 things were starting to look pretty good for Mao all over again, and so he put into place the decade long “Down to the Countryside Movement” which forced young intellectuals to move out to the country to become farmers. Sadly, the people he pushed out there were the same Red Guards who had helped him get power. Estimates of the death toll are between 40,000 – 7 million depending on who you ask.

Finally, there is the 100 flowers movement which just needs an abbreviated mention here. Mao asked people to come forth and tell him how he should govern China.  Intellectuals and liberals bit at the chance to tell him what they really thought, and were encouraged by the Communist party to do so. Then in a sudden change of heart, or an incredibly crafty mission to out his haters, the government persecuted 500,000 of them who were considered to be “dangerous thinkers”.

Mao is essentially like that girlfriend/boyfriend who keeps on taking a shit on you, but is so damn charming you hardly notice. His policies and political purges from 1949 to 1976 caused the deaths of 49 to 78 million people.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of NewsRescue

The moral of the story is ~

Let’s stop allowing evil political dictators to take office. And if we do have someone bad in office we can find better ways to get them out than murdering them, wars, and aggressive confrontations. Link:




  1. Avatar
    Obakayode Owopetu 11 October, 2012 at 19:49 Reply

    Yakubu Gowon does not belong to the category of DICTATORS.After the war,he saw to it that the reconstruction of the war ravaged areas of the east and other part of Nigeria commenced and he made sure that reconciliation was pursued to a logical conclusion.His regretable mistake was the abortion of the program of the Federal Government of Nigeria for the transfer of governance back to the Civilians.He is a gentle and a disciplined soldier as well as a God fearing Nigerian.His place in the history of Nigeria is assured as he will always be remembered for his statesmanship and defence and promotion of the unity of Nigeria not only during and after the civil but also when he came back from exile.Yakubu Gowon’s slogan of ‘no victor and no vanquish’ was the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria.Nigeria will certainly join the the commitee of great and respected countries,even in our time

    • Avatar
      Tony Ken 14 October, 2012 at 02:06 Reply

      You are very
      wrong. He deserves the position. Infact he should be in the first five because
      the number of deaths as a result of his deadly policy was more than the
      officially quoted number (3,000,000). His place in Nigeria history is never and
      would never be a statesman, he is rather a murderer, baby killer and the
      current predicaments Nigeria and Nigerians are going through today are all
      direct effect of his policies. As I write this, the murder (Gowon) is hiding in
      his mansion in London, because he cannot live in his native Lantang or Jos
      Nigeria. You are dead wrong by saying that “Nigeria will certainly join
      the committee of great and respected countries even in our time.” Are you
      dreaming? I guess you are not living in Nigeria or have not visited Nigeria the
      past 12 yrs. I am certainly sure that you will not make that statement if you
      have been to Nigeria of late.

      • Avatar
        Ben 15 October, 2012 at 12:40 Reply

        Fellow compatriots,our elders in the Nigerian polity had really done a lot of evil in the pass and that,is affecting the development of the country.Their demonic and anti-people policies caused death of millions before and after civil war.It is unfortunate that same group of are still parading themselves within the corridors of power.But then we got no other country except nigeria,we must vote the right people in power,men and women with good antecedent,especially those in the parliamentary; forget about the president and Governors.If we have people oriented law makers in the house,we can always impeach any executive who does not do well.We need to claim our country,the country belongs to all of us and not to a few.The evil and injustices they did in the past is what the country is suffering today.That Civil war could have been prevented,infact it was not necessary.It was injustice and pride among the ruling class that caused that war.Oh My God!,i have had to question some elders concerning that war,and i wept at the storry i got.But God is not asleep,the seed you sow,is what you will harvest.

        God is watching!.

    • Avatar
      Kunle 14 October, 2012 at 19:00 Reply

      Even if you did not witness the Nigerian Civil War, you ought to have read about it. Those who wear the shoe know where it pinches them. Pray that you do not wake up one morning only to see that your entire community has been wiped out! Nigeria is yet to come out of the devastation Gowon, Obasanjo, Adekunle, Awolowo, Danjuma, etc and their gruesome policies caused her. Those lives wasted would have lifted Nigeria to a better level. God is actually paying Gowon back in an unquantifiable manner. Ordinarily, at a particular age, a statesman is supposed to reside in his locality. But the devil (Gowon) cannot try it, because his own community/state is in total ruins, and would continue to be! Any child that does not allow his parents to sleep cannot sleep either. The “Nigeria Prays” prayer program that Gowon founded will NOT in any way save him: he needs to apologize to Nigerians and the South Easterners in particular for the holocaust he committed. He has a lot of blood in his hands!

      • Avatar
        tukura 2 November, 2012 at 23:19 Reply

        Kunle,i’m so sorry to let you know that you are devilish than Gowon.if at this age you are celebrating the crisis in plateau state not only that you’re praying that the ruin in plateau state should continue then,you’re a wicked guy.I pray that God deliver u from your wickedness

      • Avatar
        Abuchi 13 August, 2013 at 18:15 Reply

        Kunle if nigeria has people like you in the power today our country would have been better,Gowon destroyed that country which is bringing the hatred among the citizens today,is a payback time and it will never end till he fix what he destroyed.

    • Avatar
      Sunday 'Yemi Idowu 17 October, 2012 at 03:40 Reply

      I agree with Obakayode, by adding Yakubu Gowon to this infamous list, either this ‘Juan Carlos’ does not know the meaning of ‘Dictator’ or he just wanted to add another name from Africa! Historically, Gowon might have been the Head of State during Nigeria’s Civil War, but he was never a Dictator in the true sense of the word – he had Generals waging the war and he also had an Executive council with civilians, to make the decisions. This just makes this list an absolute rubbish! Any fool can make a list, but not every list is worth being published. Who is this Juan Carlos anyway? Give us more information about his background.

    • Avatar
      osmond charles 26 October, 2012 at 12:04 Reply

      If you found yourself to be from the Eastern Nigeria or Biafra. you will not refer gowon as GOD fearing or statesman. all the Biafran citizens did was to defend themselves from the evil oriented head of state. it was almost becoming like the case of the Tutsi and Hutu (tutsi cockroaches being the ibos in this case) The effect of that civil war has deeply influenced the northern and western Nigerians till date making fill the arr superior to the easterners. i till fill Biafra as a country is and will be the best or Federal Republic of Nigeria should be true federalism …. it is always depressing to discourse Nigeria.

  2. Avatar
    Bush 15 October, 2012 at 09:33 Reply

    where did you place George W. Bush; over 1million Iraqis, over half a million Afghanis, thousands in Somali and Yemen.

    • Avatar
      oluomo 24 October, 2012 at 13:06 Reply

      I cannot see Gowon as an evil dictator at all. This people are hell bent in breaking Nigeria…Why is this news coming at this time?? Chinua Achebe and now this

      • Avatar
        osmond 26 October, 2012 at 11:59 Reply

        If you found yourself to be from the Eastern Nigeria or Biafra. you will not refer gowon as GOD fearing or statesman. all the Biafran citizens did was to defend themselves from the evil oriented head of state. it was almost becoming like the case of the Tutsi and Hutu (tutsi cockroaches being the ibos in this case) The effect of that civil war has deeply influenced the northern and western Nigerians till date making fill the arr superior to the easterners. i till fill Biafra as a country is and will be the best or Federal Republic of Nigeria should be true federalism …. it is always depressing to discourse Nigeria.

        • Avatar
          michael 2 April, 2013 at 08:20 Reply

          Gowon is pure evil, nemesis is surely catching up with him, it is onevitable that he will suffer it, no amount of argument in his favour will save him, the evil that men do lives after them. qed

          • Avatar
            Phil 14 August, 2013 at 16:56

            and you think God too will forgive you for speaking evil against his creature?, Igbos are too sentimental that is why you grumble for marginalization instead of struggling to succeed, read history of who started the civil war before talking rubbish

      • Avatar
        ochuko 2 November, 2012 at 16:16 Reply

        Gowon is not an evil dictator. There was war and it is his duty as the head of state to see to the unity of the country. So what wud u say of Abacha who visited all opposition with death; an era when u speak against the govt u are gone for. Lets be realistic and stop being sentimental. Nigeria Unity is attributed to the work of Gowon.

  3. Avatar
    Oparah Hyacinth 26 October, 2012 at 14:00 Reply

    Is the author an Igbo man? Truth will never be buried. Gowon will eventually die a shameful death. My happiness is that Ojukwu was born a hero and he died a hero. Gowon will never find any person to mourn him. Shame on Awolowo, the bloody tribalist who sees every thing from the Yoruba eye.

    • Avatar
      omoibile 1 April, 2013 at 19:30 Reply

      Shame on you too for your muddled, hazy and befuddled mind!

      Awo remains the only African o successfully apply the principles of scientific socialism to transform western Nigeria into a prosperous and thriving well educated society.

      The war was unfortunate and if you think one side was the guilty, good luck, but Awo did his duty to Nigeria; you think Igbo alone were the victims of the Biafran debacle – then ask the minorities of Calabar, Ogoja, Rivers, Benin and Delta Provinces whose lands were occupied by Biafran troops?

      If Igbo want to accord respect to other nationalities in Nigeria then they will enjoy peace……..if not beware the fire next time because some people have absorbed enough abuse as though only Igbo know how to hurl abuse!

      • Avatar
        Onuma 13 August, 2013 at 10:25 Reply

        Chadian used & dumped gutless slave Awolowo, will for ever remain a baby killer, blood sucking Aje & world certified war criminal.

  4. Avatar
    Aliyu Garba 26 October, 2012 at 17:26 Reply

    Gowon is not a dictator. The man is a fine gentle officer. The problem with these young ibos is that they were given one sided stories of biafran war. Did your elders informed you about eleven days sessionist adventure, killing of northern elites/politicians. The killings is the predicament especially of the sardauna that northern Nigeria is still experiencing. Refusal to respect the head of state by ojukwu. Gowon prosecuted the war with human face – looking for peaceful settlements Aburi , could have completed the war within some months but prolonged it. Brought the idea of no victor, no vanquish, the three Rs. The whiteman that published this list have forgotten the truth in his bedroom. He has forgotten about Hiroshima, Vietnam, south Africa, Bosnia , iraq,peru. Do not be cajoled by the whitemen that are bent on seeing Nigeria breaking ! Inquire what non ibos consider and called ojukwu in Nigeria . Pls let collectively think of how we can move the country forward. It is each nigerian civic responsibility. Let us not allow the whiteman or our unpatriotic political class to misled us. When there is crisis, they will all check out from the country be them ibos, Hausas or Yoruba . They are just a cabal.

  5. Avatar
    Luong the Viet 7 June, 2018 at 02:14 Reply

    Yakubu Gowon – NON-Christian
    Hideki Tojo – Shinto
    Adolf Hitler – Catholic agent of the Vatican WHO MURDERED MILLIONS OF CHRISTIANS
    Leopold II of Belgium – Catholic agent of the Vatican

Leave a reply