Life of Idi Amin

Topics: Idi Amin, Milton Obote, President of Uganda Pages: 8 (3049 words) Published: April 6, 2008
Idi Amin was a soldier first and foremost. He imposed a scheduled and militaristic way of life on his followers. His own military record paints the picture of his rise to power. During British colonization of Uganda Idi Amin began his endeavor into the military. It was in 1946 that Amin enlisted in the King’s African Rifle’s, KAR, the British army in colonized Africa. (Boddy-Evans) Upon his entry he was placed as assistant cook, a far from glorious position. However he managed to rise through the ranks. He became a Corporal in 1948 and was stationed in Burma, Somalia, and Kenya. This was during the British situation in Kenya that was referred to as the Mau Mau revolt. The Mau Mau gunmen were a secret society of rebels which aimed to over throw the British rule in Africa, and they spared no bloodshed in this attempt. Sadly the blood spilled was mostly of their own African countrymen. According to Times Magazine, “…only 32 Europeans died, while almost 2,000 Kikuyu loyal to the British crown were murdered before the colonial government regained control.”( Idi Amin Killer File) Amin’s efforts through this time were recognized and upon his return in 1958 he was awarded the rank of sergeant-major and platoon commander. In 1959 he is appointed as an Effendi, this rank is given to noncommissioned Africans with leadership potential. It was basically a desk job that bred future leaders. Just 2 years later he was named Lieutenant. He was one of two Ugandans that were officially commissioned during the British rule. (Boddy-Evans) His military prowesses grew to the point that he dared storm the royal palace and overthrow the King appointed by Britain in order to put his party into power, he succeeded. His partner Obote was set as President while Amin was left in charge of the army. Afterwards he overthrew his partner and exiled him form the country. His rise to President for life was made possible by his military ways. (Boddy-Evans)

Uganda has long been a country of changing power. Its brief periods of stability are filled with tyrants and oppression. During the age of imperialism it was held by Britain and was appointed its leaders. Later it would later change hands through military coups and revolutions. Idi Amin’s regime is hailed as the worst times in history for this battered country. His rise to power was brought by fear and greed. (Marbleston)

After he was appointed Lieutenant in the KAR, British African army, ranks he became closely watched by King Edward Mutebi Mutesa II, who was commonly referred to as King Freddie. Amin and Obote had their subordinates smuggle: Gold, Coffee, and Ivory to Uganda. A parliamentary investigation was set into action to further analyze this scandal. This situation made Obote worry about being persecuted. So he used his power to appointed Amin as Chief of staff and made him the new general. He then suspended the 1962 constitution and fired half the staff which was then executed by Amin’s military forces. Amin’s role as general was vital to storming the palace and driving King Freddie out of the country. Obote appointed himself president for life but Amin had different plans. (Idi Amin Killer File)

While Obote focused on staying in power Amin began to strengthen his army and make ties with foreign agents in the country. Obote began to feel the pressure and placed Amin under house arrest. He even went so far as to demote him to a nonexecutive position in the army. This did not stop Amin’s ambitions, in fact the fear of being out of power pushed his plans forward. He took the first opportunity he saw to remove Obote from power. On the 25th of January 1971, while all administrative officials were attending a Commonwealth meeting in Singapore, Amin set his plan in motion. Amin and rebel group stormed the capital and took power in a military coup. He declared himself President and took credit for driving British forces as well as native rebel and corrupt parties from Uganda. The natives recall Amin...
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