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The Rise and fall of Idi Amin, Uganda

Idi Amin

Idi Amin was a Ugandan dictator who ruled the country through a fist of hand in 1971. Idi Amin Dada was born in Kampala, Uganda on 17th May 1928. Back then, the country was referred to as West Nile Valley. As a young boy, his father deserted him and the family. Therefore, Amin was brought up by a single mother as an herbalist and a diviner.

His religion all the way from childhood was Islam, having grown up in the midst of a small tribe of Islam. The tribe is called Kakwa. He never got any formal education.

From this small ethnic group, Idi managed to join the Ugandan armed forces in 1946. By 1968, he advanced to the position of a general. In this position, the Amin served in a number of East African countries including Kenya, Somalia and Uganda. He also served in Burma. Throughout his service, he became famous for his cruelty while handling interrogations. This did not stop him from rising above ranks because he was talented as a soldier.

Amin overthrew Milton Obote’s government in 1971. At first, he was loved by the fact that he returned the body of King Freddie back to Uganda and also freed political prisoners. Later on, power got into his head and exhibited unprecedented character. He was always cruel while at the same time displaying a cunning behavior full of shrewdness.

His regime was brief but very cruel and corrupt. In the year 1972, he expelled any Ugandan that had Asian origin from Uganda. This thrust the country into economic tumbles.

Amin is known to have had a fridge in which he kept the heads of the political opponents. Among his weakness was political tolerance. Any one that tried to oppose his views was considered a threat and was immediately taken into captivity. The prisons were places of torture as very few came out alive. Justice was hugely trumped upon and the Ugandans were forced to live in fear.

Idi Amin at one time declared himself the king of Scotland. In 1975, he once appeared at a Saudi Arabian royal funeral in a kilt.

However, some still considered him to be a charming leader. That is why in 1975, he got voted in as the chairperson of the Organization of the African Union. This incident was not taken happily by the United Nations.

In year 1978, Troupes from Tanzania, with the help of exiled Ugandan nationalist, attacked Uganda. Amin was forced to exile in Saudi Arabia after defeat. By the time the country was set free from Idi Amin, the inflation rate had gone as high as 100%. The atrocities associated with it were adverse.

Idi Amin stayed in Saudi Arabia till 2003 when he died due several organ failures. He died while having five wives. He had already divorced three of his wives.

Quick Facts:

Amin declared himself king of Scotland

He had heads of political opponents in his fridge

Amin was buried in Saudi Arabia when he died in 2003

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The Rise and fall of Idi Amin, Uganda


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