Idi Amin Dada, became known as the ‘Butcher of Uganda’ for his brutal, despotic rule while president of Uganda in the 1970s. He is possibly the most notorious of all Africa’s post-independence dictators.
Here are a few other interesting facts to know about Dada:
1. Dada was born in 1925, near Koboko, West Nile province, Uganda.
2. His father leftt the family while Dada was still a young boy, he was then raised by his mother, a herbalist and diviner.
3. Idi Amin received little formal education.
4. He was a member of the Kakwa ethnic group, a small Islamic tribe that was settled in the region.
5. In 1946, Dada joined the King’s African Rifles, KAR (Britain’s colonial African troops), and served in Burma, Somalia, Kenya (during the British suppression of the Mau Mau) and Uganda.
6. He rose through the ranks, reaching sergeant-major before finally being made an effendi, the highest rank possible for a Black African serving in the British army.
7. He seized power in a military coup in 1971 and ruled over Uganda for 8 years. Estimates for the number of his opponents who were either killed, tortured, or imprisoned vary from 100,000 to half a million.
8. In 1979, his reign of terror came to an end as Ugandan exiles and Tanzanians took control of the capital of Kampala, forcing Amin to flee. Never brought to justice for his heinous crimes, Amin lived out the remainder of his life in Saudi Arabia.
9. Died in 2003 from kidney failure.