From dictators to generals these are 25 leaders responsible for the worst genocides ever committed.
The leader and founder of the Sierra Leone rebel group known as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), Foday’s fighters used machetes to hack off the hands, feet, lips and ears of Sierra Leone’s civilians and raped thousands of girls and women.
In 2012 he was convicted in the Hague with 11 counts of crimes against humanity for helping the rebel groups of Sierra Leone.
Ho Chi Minh
This former Southern Vietnamese communist revolutionary leader imprisoned and executed over a quarter million of his own people.
Also known as Il Duce, he was one of the key figures in the establishment of fascism. He was well known for being fond of brutal battlefield tactics as well as heavy use of mustard gas and other chemical weapons.
A Croatian fascist leader during World War II, he pursued genocidal policies against ethnic and racial minorities, including but not limited to Serbs, Jews, Gypsies and anti-Fascist proponents.
Considered among the least popular leaders of Pakistan, Yahya was a four-star general whose reign led Pakistan into a state of disarray. In his first nationwide address, he imposed martial law and declared a massive war against Bangladesh, where over a quarter million people were killed.
The third President of Uganda, Idi Admin Dada held the rank of Major General in the post-colonial Ugandan Army. His rule was characterized by human rights abuse, extrajudicial killings and ethic persecution.
As the spiritual leader of the Taliban he sheltered Osama bin Laden and led the insurgency in Afghanistan. Since then he has been wanted by numerous government agencies.
This Angolan political and military leader waged a guerilla war against Portuguese colonial rule. He was also responsible for several other brutal conflicts that engulfed the region.
The leader of Japan for most of World War II, he was one of Japan’s most militaristic and brutal leaders in recent history. Although he tried to commit suicide after the war, he failed and was then sentenced to death by hanging for crimes against humanity.
Haji Muhammad Suharto
The second President of Indonesia, Suharto established a strong, centralized and military-dominated government during his rule. His presidency resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths following Indonesia’s invasion and occupation of East Timor. He was tried many times on charges of genocide.
Josip Broz Tito
In spite of numerous awards from various countries, Tito was responsible for several ethnic cleansings including mass executions of the German population following World War II
The fifth President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein was a leading member of the revolutionary Arab Socialt Ba’ath Party and Baghdad-based Ba’ath Party and was globally known for the brutality of his dictatorship.
Although he initially plead guilty to numerous charges of genocide, this Rwandan dictator later blamed the army for “forcing him to do it”.
This soviet leader was responsible for a purge of nearly 100,000 Moldovans. Other purges he was associated with included Volga Germans, Greeks, Cossacks, Armenians and Poles.
This Nigerian warlord managed to starve tens of thousand of his own people due to his military blockades.
Long before the brutal Rwandan Genocide of the 90s, Michel Micombero, a member of the Tutsi ethnicity, implemented a program of ethnic cleansing that killed hundreds of thousands of Hutus. 40 years later the mass executions would be re-implemented, this time by the Hutu majority.
Setting the precedent for his successors, Kim managed to establish one of the most repressive and genocidal regimes in history.
A Cambodian leader who led the Khmer Rouge for more than three decades, Pol Pot presided over a communist dictatorship and imposed a radical form of agrarian socialism in his country. During his reign, the combined effects of malnutrition, execution, forced labor and poor medical led to the death of over 25% of Cambodia’s population.
This Ottoman military officer who led the 1908 Young Turk Revolution was responsible for the deaths of numerous Armenians, Germans, Greeks and Assyrians and was seen as the principal orchestrator of several other brutal genocides.
Almost synonymous with the word “genocide”, Hitler was responsible for one of the most systematic and nauseatingly efficient genocides in history.
Combining all of his concentration camps, purges, and mass executions together led to a death toll in the tens of millions.
Leopold II of Belgium
Ignoring the rules laid down by colonial nations of Europe, this Belgian King established the Congo Free State for his own personal gain and it is to this day one of the most brutal and imperialist regimes in human history. It was responsible for the exploitation and deaths of over 15 million Congolese.
In spite of his brutal sociopathic tendencies, major western political leaders refused to label him for what he was – a genocidal maniac. Instead, they praised his reforms. Today, however, we can see how wrong the western political leaders were and just how merciless his reign of terror was.
Mao Ze Dong
Also referred to as Chairman Mao, Mao Ze Dong was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was also the founding father of the People’s Republic of China. Historians characterize him as a dictator whose administration led to the death of 40-70 million people in China and Tibet because of executions, forced labor and starvation.