Idi Amin

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Idi Amin
Amin in 1973
3rd President of Uganda
In office
25 January 1971 – 11 April 1979
Vice PresidentMustafa Adrisi
Preceded byMilton Obote
Succeeded byYusufu Lule
Personal details
Idi Amin Dada

May 17, 1925
Koboko, Uganda
DiedAugust 16, 2003(2003-08-16) (aged 78)
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Spouse(s)Malyamu Amin (divorced)
Kay Amin (divorced)
Nora Amin (divorced)
Madina Amin (widow)
Sarah Amin (widow)
Military service
AllegianceUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Uganda Uganda
Branch/serviceBritish Army
Ugandan Army
Years of service1946–1962 (UK)
1962–1979 (Uganda)
RankLieutenant (UK)
Field Marshal (Uganda, self-styled)
UnitKing's African Rifles
CommandsCommander-in-Chief of the Forces
Battles/warsMau Mau Uprising
1971 Ugandan coup d'état
Uganda-Tanzania War

Idi Amin Dada (17 May 1925 – 16 August 2003) was a repressive dictator who ruled the African country of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Known for his brutal regime, Amin's rule was marked by human rights abuses, political repression, and economic mismanagement. He seized power through a military coup, and his regime was characterized by authoritarianism and erratic behavior. Amin expelled Uganda's Asian minority, leading to economic decline, and his reign saw widespread human rights violations, including mass killings and torture. He was eventually overthrown in 1979 and fled to Libya and Later Saudi Arabia, living in exile until his death in 2003.

Early Life and Career[change | change source]

Idi Amin was born on May 17, 1925 in Koboko, British Uganda. He initially worked as a cook and later joined the King's African Rifles, where he rose through the ranks. Amin's early life was marked by his military career and his growing influence within Ugandan politics.

Personal Life[change | change source]

Amin's Former Residential Palace he lived in during his Rule

Idi Amin had multiple wives during his life, but two of the most prominent ones were Malyamu and Kay. His personal life was complex. Amin built a palace near Lake Victoria where he lived during his rule. It was a place of luxury for him.

Military Career[change | change source]

Amin as Major General in 1966 with President Obote and Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol at Entebbe

In 1946, Amin Joined the King's African Rifles and Participated in the Mau Mau rebellion in Neighboring Kenya. Following Uganda's independence in 1962, Amin rose through the ranks of the Ugandan military, eventually becoming a major in 1963. His career progressed, and he seized power in a coup in 1971, establishing himself as Uganda's president.

Rule[change | change source]

Establishing Military Rule[change | change source]

On January 25, 1971, Amin's Troops overthrown Milton Obote's Government while Obote was out of the country attending a Commonwealth meeting in Singapore.

Persecution of Minorities[change | change source]

Many Victims of Amin's Regime perished in torture chambers during his rule

During his Early years in power, Amin Targeted supporters of Milton Obote's Regime, mainly the Acholi and Lango ethnic groups. In August 1972, Amin Ordered the Expulsion of Uganda's Asian Community, which caused the economy to collapse and Amin nationalized all business that was onced owned by the Asian Community.

Foreign Policy[change | change source]

Idi Amin at UN (United Nations, New York) in 1975

Idi Amin had a controversial foreign policy. He expelled Asian communities, leading to strained relations with the UK and Israel. Amin's regime was marked by erratic diplomatic decisions and isolationist tendencies.

Israel[change | change source]

Idi Amin had a complex relationship with Israel. In the early 1970s, he expressed support for Israel, but later he shifted towards a more anti-Israel stance. Amin severed diplomatic ties in 1972, aligning himself with the Arab nations after the Yom Kippur War.

Libya[change | change source]

Idi Amin had a close relationship with Libya's leader, Muammar Gaddafi, during the 1970s. They formed an alliance based on shared interests and anti-Western sentiments. Gaddafi provided Amin with economic and military support, and they collaborated on various political initiatives.

United States[change | change source]

Idi Amin's relationship with the United States was strained. While initially supported during the Cold War due to his anti-Soviet stance, Amin's erratic behavior and human rights abuses led to a deterioration of relations.

Soviet Union[change | change source]

Idi Amin initially had close ties with the Soviet Union in the early 1970s, but the relationship soured later. Amin, Uganda's president, expelled Israeli and Western advisers, turning to the Soviet Union for support.

United Kingdom[change | change source]

Idi Amin's relationship with the United Kingdom was tumultuous. After seizing power in Uganda in 1971, Amin initially had good relations with the UK. However, his erratic behavior, human rights abuses, and expulsion of Asians from Uganda strained ties. The UK condemned Amin's actions, leading to a deterioration in diplomatic relations.

Fall from Power and Exile[change | change source]

Uganda-Tanzania War[change | change source]

Idi Amin's fall from power began in 1979 when Tanzanian forces, with Ugandan exiles, ousted him. Amin fled to Libya and later settled in Saudi Arabia.

Later Years and Death[change | change source]

Idi Amin with King Khalid in 1979

Idi Amin lived his later years in exile, mainly in Saudi Arabia, after being ousted from power in 1979. He remained there until his death in August 2003.

Legacy[change | change source]

Idi Amin's legacy is marked by a brutal regime during his time as Uganda's president from 1971 to 1979. His rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political repression, and economic mismanagement. The exact impact of his legacy is complex, with lasting scars on Uganda's history and society.

In Popular Culture[change | change source]

Idi Amin has been portrayed in various films and books. Forest Whitaker won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Amin in "The Last King of Scotland." Amin's character is often used to explore themes of power and brutality in storytelling.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]