Born in 1925 he was a military leader and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Over those eight years he managed to wipe out a fairly large portion of Uganda’s population for very tenuous reasons. Basically, if he hated you, you died. When he first rose to power he had the military leadership rounded up and decapitated. He then sat on a pile of their heads and chastised them while taking bites from their flesh. Amin was a member of the Kakwa tribe. They believed that if you ate a section of a man you killed then his spirit could not return to haunt you.
Amin was born in 1925 in the Republic of Uganda. As a child he was deserted by his father and was brought by his mother, a herbalist and diviner. He was a member of the Kakwa ethnic group which is a small Islamic tribe that was settled in the region. Idi Amin received very little formal education as it is unknown whether he attended the local missionary school. However, in 1946 he joined the King’s African Rifles which is Britain’s colonial African Troops. He served in Burma, Somalia, Kenya and Uganda. He was considered very skilled at his occupation but seemed very eager and gathered a reputation for being cruel at times. In fact, he was almost cashiered on several occasions for excessive brutality during interrogations. Eventually, he worked his way through the ranks, reaching sergeant-major before finally being made an effendi which is the highest rank possible for a Black African serving in the British army. From 1951 to 1960 he held the position of heavyweight boxing champion in Uganda.
Amin was sent to the UK to further his training in the military and on his return in 1964; he was promoted to major and given the task of dealing with an army in mutiny. During this time he took over the as president after a proposed scandal took place within the government. Idi Amin began to strengthen his position in the military by using funds from smuggling. Troops under Amin’s command committed the ‘Turkana Massacre’, while holding an operation of cattle stealing. Investigations showed that the victims had been tortured, beaten to death and in some cases, buried alive.
After many cases of murder, evidence shows that Amin began to become very paranoid. He was apparently involved in blood rituals and cannibalism. He may have also suffered from hypomania, a form of depression which is detected by irrational behavior and emotional outbursts. At this time he was still president and had betrayed many people. The economy of Uganda was failing as inflation reached an excess of 1,000 percent. In his final years of reign, Amin decided to annex Kagera, a province on the border of Uganda. This backfired and the capital of Uganda, Kampala was captured. Amin fled to Libya where he stayed for almost 10 years, before finally settling in Saudi Arabia where he remained in exile. In 2003, Idi Amin’s death was reported due to multiple organ failure. He was never tried for abuse of human rights.
– by Katelyn Groeger, 10ENG