Idi Amin and Uganda

The Republic of Uganda is a Central African nation, who’s capital city, Kampala is located in the southern Buganda kingdom that’s native to the Ganda tribes. Uganda is a former British colony who gained independence in 1962. It’s a predominately Christian nation who’s most spoken languages are Swahili and English, and a current population around 39,000,000 people. Uganda has faced many problems in the last century, from political instability, economy and environmental struggles and a rampant AIDS epidemic.

Idi Amin Dada Oumee was born in Northern Uganda in 1925, and at the age of 20 joined the British Colonial regiment King’s African Rifles, and took part in several conflicts against Somali and Kenyan rebel’s. Seventeen years later Uganda gained independence from Great Britain, and Amin became a Major, and became close to the then Prime Minister and President of Uganda, Milton Obote. For four years he was chief of the Army and Airforce until he and Milton started with conflicting interests, and Milton on the verge of having him arrested, Amin commanded a military coup d’état and overthrew Milton and announced himself as the new President of Uganda. Upon seizing power he made a radio announcement accusing Obote’s government of corruption, and claimed that the current political regime that had taken control was only temporary, but this wasn’t to be.

Amin declared himself President, and commander of all the armed forces a week after seizing power, and set up the State Research Bureau which was the HQ of the secret police. This would be a location where Amin’s ruthless brutality would become prevalent. He used the Bureau to execute, torture and butcher key political figures, clergy and statesmen. The Bureaus initial intention was intelligence and surveillance as Amin was well aware of his growing enemies, and he forged an alliance with the Soviet secret police KGB to assist the bureau in training its staff the Soviet way.

Amin disbanded the government and abolished the constitution and Uganda became a totalitarian regime, and announced that the military and police had full rights and his support to abuse Ugandans without repercussions, and if someone was breaking any rules, spying or an opposition to Amin’s regime they were allowed to act any way they saw fit to preserve Uganda.

Uganda turned into a nightmare state where people were murdered, tortured, beaten and some vanished never to be seen again. Observers were well aware of the brutal human rights violations but Uganda carried on butchering its citizens. Amin himself was an incredibly dangerous and unpredictable person to be around and his moods could shift instantaneously which struck fear into the hearts of everyone who came in contact with him, and he became known as the ‘Butcher of Uganda’.

Amin was a devout Muslim, but despite this, it didn’t stop his continuous persecution of ethnic minorities and religious groups of other faiths. The River Nile became littered with the bodies of the fallen and it seemed never ending to the Ugandan nationals who lived in constant fear. During his eight year reign, Amnesty International claims that a realistic estimate on deaths from the hands of Amin’s regime could have exceeded 500,000 people.

In 1972 he expelled every Asian resident in Uganda and any business they owned were seized by the regime, and as the years passed his closest allies defected due to fear of Amin’s intolerance and quick temper. He became close associates with Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi and the Soviet Union who were Uganda’s biggest supplier of weapons.

The country started falling apart due to negligence regarding the economy and the Ugandan people were forming an uprising. In 1978 he ordered his army to invade Tanzania but it backfired and Tanzania, aided by a Ugandan rebellion entered Uganda and seized the capital Kampala. Amin had no choice but to flee Uganda and ended up in the Islamic state of Saudi Arabia, where he stayed until his death in 2003, and was never made accountable for his crime against humanity.

Amin’s rule was characterized by rampant human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement” – Wikipedia

Some rumours suggest that he kept the heads of many of his victims as trophies, and it’s said that he had cannibalistic tendencies. In his bureau there was an underground dungeon that was surrounded by an electrified moat. Many of his victims starved to death, suffocated due to overcrowding and lack of clean air, and some either jumped into the most or were forcibly put there. He attacked churches, villages, schools and farms. He sometimes forced his victims to beat each other to death, and he particularly enjoyed watching people pummelled to death with sledgehammers. Uganda often faced power outages due to the amount of dead bodies blocking the dam at lake Victoria. He publicly announced his admiration for Adolf Hitler and said he was perfectly just to have executed 6,000,000 Jews.

To fully understand the level of his insanity you just have to look at self-created title, and try to consider what went through the mind of such a crazed lunatic.

“His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular”

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