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Idi Amin at a military rally
Uganda: What is amazing about General Idi Amin's first four years as president of Uganda is that he has survived to begin his fifth. The former boxer, cook and sergeant major has confounded his critics and neatly sidestepped a series of military uprisings. Here he presides at a military parade in January of 1975. (UPI Photo/Files)
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Idi Amin Dada (c.1925 – 16 August 2003) was a military leader and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles, in 1946, and eventually held the rank of Major General and Commander of the Ugandan Army prior to taking power in the military coup of January 1971, deposing Milton Obote. He later promoted himself to Field Marshal while he was the head of state.

Amin's rule was characterised by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000. Notable backers of Amin included Muammar al-Gaddafi's Libya, the Soviet Union and East Germany, with early support for his regime coming from the United Kingdom, Israel, and Apartheid-era South Africa.

In 1975–1976, Amin became the Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity, a pan-Africanist group designed to promote solidarity of the African states. During the 1977–1979 period, Uganda was appointed to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. From 1977 to 1979, Amin titled himself as "His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular".

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Idi Amin."