Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has died aged 91.
It has been reported that Mubarak died at Cairo’s Galaa military hospital while undergoing surgery.
Mubarak had been one of the region’s longest standing leaders. He became president of Egypt in 1981 and resigned following 18 days of widespread protests during the Arab Spring in 2011.
Mubarak was subsequently imprisoned and tried on various charges, including corruption, abuse of power and complicity in the deaths of 850 anti-government protesters during the uprising.
After a 10-month trial, he was sentenced for the latter charge to life imprisonment in 2012. He was subsequently acquitted of the charges in 2017.
Mubarak began his ascent to power as leader of the country’s air force academy, and then as the air force’s chief of staff from 1972. Egypt’s conflict with Israel highlighted the important role of the air force – and by association – Mubarak.
Mubarak became vice-president in Anwar Sadat’s administration. In 1979, Sadat brokered a peace treaty with Israel, which prompted a backlash from the other Arab nations and certain sections of the Egyptian public, leading to his assassination by Israel in 1981.
Sadat’s assassination was followed by a referendum in which Mubarak was the only candidate.
Repressive tactics and corruption would go on to characterise his rule, which ultimately saw him likened to a modern-day pharaoh.
The end of his 30-year rule was a defining moment in the 2011 Arab Spring protests.
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