This time a month ago a North African dictator who’d been in office for decades was clinging on to power despite the cries of his people to get lost. It’s much the same now; just the names and tactics are different. Then it was Hosni Mubarak in Egypt sending camels and tear gas into the crowds, today it’s Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, seemingly intent on fostering a civil war.
Mubarak’s departure leaves a mere 21 autocrats, dictators and tyrants in place.
If and when Gaddafi goes, the next leader of the Dictator Charts will be Sultan Qaboos (pictured on a watch face, left), assuming he doesn’t go first of course – he’s been fending off his own protests in Sohar.
Bahrain and Yemen have also been on shaky ground over the past month, Iran has been suppressing its people’s demands for democracy once more and a “Day of Rage” is planned for Saudi Arabia on 11 March.
So after three months where North Africa has seen the most of the upheavals, it's starting to look like the focus of the revolutions and revolts could shift to the Gulf this month.
Here’s the latest run-down of who’s been in power for how long around the region:
- Muammar Gaddafi – Libya - 41.6 years in power
- Qaboos al Said - Oman - 40.8 years
- Sultan Al-Qasimi III - Sharjah - 39.2 years
- Hamad Al Sharqi - Fujeirah - 36.1 years
- Ali Abdullah Saleh - Yemen - 32.8 years
- Humaid Al Nuaimi - Ajman - 29.6 years
- Omar Bashir - Sudan - 21.5 years
- Hamad Al Thani - Qatar - 15.9 years
- King Abdullah II - Jordan - 12.1 years
- King Hamad Al Khalifa - Bahrain - 12 years
- Abdelaziz Bouteflika - Algeria - 11.11 years
- King Mohammed VI - Morocco - 11.8 years
- Bashar Assad - Syria - 10.8 years
- Sheikh Khalifa Al Nahyan - Abu Dhabi - 6.4 years
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - Iran - 5.8 years
- King Abdullah al Saud - Saudi Arabia - 5.7 years
- Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum - Dubai - 5.2 years
- Sheikh Sabah Al-Sabah - Kuwait - 5.2 years
- Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz - Mauritania - 2.6 years
- Sheikh Saud Al Mualla - Umm al Quwain - 2.2 years
- Sheikh Saud al Qasimi - Ras al Khaimah - 0.4 years
For a bit more on these people, check out my posts from last month. Incidentally, Hosni Mubarak managed 29 years and 3 months in power, and was in 7th place before being forced into early retirement. Zine El Abidine Ben Al had been in power in Tunisia for 23 years and 2 months and had been in 8th spot.