Idi Amin Dada Oumee (/ˈiːdi ɑːˈmiːn/; c. 1925 – 16 August 2003) was a Ugandan military officer who served as the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Popularly known as the “Butcher of Uganda”, he is considered one of the cruelest despots in world history. Carrying Idi Amin Dada

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Idi Amin v. Jomo Kenyatta: the making of anti-heroes


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Idi Amin v. Jomo Kenyatta: the making of anti-heroes

Carrying Idi Amin Dada The dreams of Gen. Idi Amin, heavyweight boxer, flyweight philosopher and the seemingly punchdrunk President of the Second Republic of Uganda, have transformed life in his lush, landlocked East African state into a nightmare of terror for inhabitants of all hues. In one dream last August, according to the burly ex‐sergeant, God appeared in person and instructed him to exorcise Uganda of its 50,000 Asian residents, most of them third‐generation Ugandans who collectively form the country’s economic middle class. The Asians, Amin charged, had been sabotaging Uganda’s economy, deliberately retarding economic progress, fostering widespread corruption and treacherously refraining from integrating in the Ugandan way of life. He gave them 90 days to quit the country, “or they will find themselves sitting on the fire.”

This decision, its cause and effect, has created dark whirlpool of uncertainty in the heart of Africa. It has brought Uganda to the brink Congo‐style turmoil, outraged world opinion, enraged and embarrassed moderate African leaders and exposed the continent’s susceptibility to raw and ruthless military despots.

Idi Amin Dada (the latter is his family name and has no relevance to his media tag of “big daddy”) has broken every rule of statesmanship, even the emergent ‐Africa brand, and boggled diplomatic minds everywhere with his verbal buckshot, exhortations, pronouncements and threats. He has established a state sinister that would startle fiction writers. Dissidents, real or potential, are dragged screaming from bar or cafe by gun‐toting young men in dark glasses; bodies of well‐known former citizens are washed up on the shores of otherwise picturesque lakes; swaggering glazedeyed soldiery waylay and molest tourists and travelers in the bush. Entire army units have been massacred in their barracks; policemen suspected of less than wholehearted loyalty have had their heads smashed with sledgehammers; more fortunate citizens of other countries have been deported almost daily; and the jails are witnesses to unmitigated brutality.

In the midst of all this, Idi Amin has called on his army to be prepared to liberate South Africa, offered to help Britain solve the Ulster crisis, disclosed that the United States has been seeking his help to end the Vietnam war and appointed himself a one ‐man peace emissary to the Middle East. He has also found time to entertain his first state visitor, Gen. Jean Bedel Bokassa, Life President of the Central African Republic, whose last public appearance was at the head of an army unit which toured the country’s jails beating, in some cases to death, prisoners accused or convicted of petty theft.