TODAY IN HISTORY: Ugandan Dictator, Idi Amin Overthrown

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Ugandans and by extension, Africans heaved a sigh of relief on April 11, 1979, when the Ugandan brutal dictator, Idi Amin, was overthrown.

Amin had a quick rise to power. Notably, in 1966, Amin became chief of the Ugandan army and air force. He seized control of Uganda in 1971, initiating a reign marked by tyranny and extreme nationalism. Amin’s genocidal campaigns targeted ethnic groups, notably the Lango and Acholi who he wanted to wipe out from Uganda. In 1972, he expelled around 60,000 Asians, mainly Indians and Pakistanis who fled the country, causing economic collapse as they formed a vital part of the workforce.

President of Uganda, Idi Amin pictured attending a lunch with British High Commissioner Richard Slater, the Indian High Commissioner, Pakistan's Ambassador and leaders of Uganda's Asian community at his house, known as 'The Command Post' in Kampala, Uganda in August 1972.

By October 1978, Amin’s regime faced internal strife. In an attempt to divert attention, he launched an unsuccessful attack on Tanzania. In response, Tanzanian troops, alongside anti-Amin Ugandan forces, invaded Uganda to dislodge the dictator. Their invasion yielded position results as Amin who had seen his fall ahead fled Kampala on April 11, 1979, as the coalition forces closed in.

Two days later, Kampala finally fell, and a coalition government of former exiles assumed power. Amin sought refuge first in Libya and later in Saudi Arabia, where he died in August 2003.

His regime’s brutality resulted in the deaths of an estimated 300,000 Ugandans making him a dictator that Ugandans, Africans, and many people around the world will not forget in a hurry…………….S££ MOR£

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