6. Ismail Enver Pasha
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Among the worst dictators who killed for the singular quest for power, Ismail Enver Pasha was perhaps the most unique. He led the Young Turk Revolution and became even more powerful when he led the Ottoman Empire of Turkey to the World War I and later, the Balkan Wars. Despite his huge war experience, he started losing battle after battle. What’s worse, he killed more than 1.5 million Armenians, as well as more than one million from other races to compensate his drubbing at Sarikamish. A list of dictators can never be complete without Pasha.
7. Omar al-Bashir
Image Credit: Al Jazeera
Field Marshall Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir is the incumbent President of Sudan and considered one of the worst dictators ever. Head of National Congress Party, Omar al-Bashir has been in power since 1989, and is wanted by International Crimes Court for crimes against humanity, particularly in the Darfur region. Notwithstanding the arrest warrant, Omar al-Bashir continues to travel freely to sympathetic countries and proudly flaunts his immunity. Over 2.7 million people have been displaced since the military campaign against the Darfur rebels started in 2003.
8. Kim Il Sung
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Delusional and sick as a person could be, Kim Il Sung of North Korea, naturally finds a place in the list of dictators noted for their ruthless tactics. He led a country using aggression, force, and persecution. His popularity was subzero among his subjects and he ended blaming Washington for his country’s suffering. Kim Il Sung spread a rumor that the US had spread an epidemic in North Korea. And to make that convincing, he killed 1.6 million people of his own country.
9. Saddam Hussein
Image Credit: New Orleans Public Radio
The Iraqi dictator from 1979 to 2003, Saddam’s reign was marked with anarchy and gross human rights violations. Considered among the worst dictators of all times, he had announced mass killings in his country by chemical attacks and used brutal tactics to curb all opposition. Saddam also ordered torture of innocents and filmed it to watch later. He invaded Khuzestan, Iran and Kuwait that led to the Gulf War in 1990. He was finally captured by US forces from a hole at his hometown Tikrit on 13 December 2003 and was hanged on 30 December 2006, following a court trial.
10. Mengistu Haile Mariam
Image Credit: BBC World Service
This dictator of Ethiopia spared no second thought before eliminating anybody he considered as an opponent. His Communist junta ruled Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987. Mariam declared end of all revolution when he took over power, and as a symbol of what he meant, threw three bottles of blood from his podium. He killed thousands of “Kebeles”—the smallest administrative representatives in the country—in broad daylight and even taxed their families to return the bodies. The Ethiopian dictator left about 1.5 million dead and certainly ranks among the worst dictators in history.