Tunisia's Ben Ali becomes the latest leader to flee amid popular protests

AFP, Friday 14 Jan 2011

President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali is not the first leader who has fled his nation under pressure. A look back at history's books.

Tunisian President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who has ruled the country since 1987, quit on Friday, and left the country after deadly protests.

Other leaders who fled amidst popular pressure:

January 16, 1979: IRAN - The Shah of Iran was forced to flee after popular protests, taking exile in Egypt, signalling the end of the imperial regime.

August, 2003: LIBERIA - President Charles Taylor fled to Nigeria under pressure from a rebellion, his country's west African partners, the United States and the United Nations.

October 2003: BOLIVIA - President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada quit and left the palace in a helicopter bound for the United States amid riots in which 80 people died.

February, 2004: HAITI - President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was forced to quit and flee his country after pressure from the street and the international community, finally taking up exile in South Africa.

March 24, 2005: KYRGYZSTAN - The regime of President Askar Akayev collapsed within several hours under pressure from thousands of demonstrators against the results of legislative elections and corruption. He was given exile in Russia.

April 2010: KYRGYZSTAN - Akayev's successor President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled to Belarus after days of bloody street riots that ousted his government and left 87 people dead.

ROMANIAN dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was sentenced to death in a trial lasting a single day, on December 25, 1989, after being toppled in a popular uprising and failing to flee the country.

 October 2000 SERBIAN late strongman Slobodan Milosevic stepped down after mass demonstrations in Belgrade against election fraud. He was later transferred to the UN war crimes court in The Hague, where he died before being judged.

Short link: