Ethnic Persecution


The first occurrence of ethnic persecution from Idi Amin was very shortly after his take-over of Obote's government. In Uganda's army, there were still many supporters of Obote. This was a problem for Amin because they were causing trouble in the ranks of his army. Therefore, in retaliation, Amin killed the Obote supporters in the army, mainly those from the Alcholi and Lango ethnic groups. Soldiers were massacred in the Jinja and Mbara Barracks in July of 1971. By the end of it, 6,000 Alcholi and Lango soldiers were missing, as well as twice that many civilians.

This was not the only case of ethnic persecution in Amin's reign. He soon turned his head to many other ethnic and religious groups. Amin even ordered the exodus of more than 60,000 Asians living in Uganda at the time. They were, however, not Ugandan citizens. The death toll at the end of Amin's reign is not exact, but experts place it anywhere from 50,000 to 350,000. Amin ordered the execution of many of his close friends and colleagues such as Benedicto Kiwanuka, former prime minister and chief justice.

As well as the expulsion of the Asians, Idi Amin also called for the mass departure of the Indians living in Uganda. With these two acts of oppression, he also caused many other countries such as Britain and India to cut all political relations with Uganda. Aid was refused to the citizens of Uganda due to these acts.

Amin was also very anti-Israeli. Many historians think it is due to the fact that Israel refused to help Idi Amin after he lost the help of Britain and India. Amin has even told various Arab states to "train kamikaze pilots [to] beat Israel."


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