Uganda’s former dictator Idi Amin Dada took the charge as a President today on January 25, 1971. He was called as ‘Butcher of Uganda’ for his brutal, despotic rule. He is possibly the most notorious of all Africa’s post-independence dictators. 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. He was also called as the madman of Africa. It is said that he loved human meat. He was a cannibal.
Taking about his cannibal part, some reports suggested that he mutilated one of his wives. He was ruthless and cruel. According to the reports, by early 1972, some 5,000 Acholi and Lango soldiers, and at least twice as many civilians, had disappeared suddenly.
The victims were members of other ethnic groups, religious leaders, journalists, artists, students and intellectuals, etc. Actually, they were killed and their bodies were often dumped into the River Nile. The exact number of people killed is unknown. The International Commission of Jurists estimated the death toll at no fewer than 80,000 and more likely around 300,000.
Amin used institutionalized violence or terror to eliminate his real and imaginary enemies. By 1978, the number of Amin’s supporters and close associates had shrunk significantly. After the killings of Bishop Luwum and ministers Oryema and Oboth Ofumbi in 1977, several of Amin’s ministers defected or fled into exile.
In 1979, his reign of terror came to an end 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. He died in 2003 from kidney failure.