General Idi Amin Dada overthrows Ugandan President, Milton Obote

General Idi Amin DadaGeneral Idi Amin Dada.

Monday, 25 January 1971

On 25 January 1971,General Idi Amin Dada led a military coup that overthrew Ugandan President, Milton Obote while he was at a Commonwealth meeting in Singapore. Amin was a soldier in the British colonial army and became one of its first Ugandan commissioned officers. He was Obote’s close ally, rising to become the army's chief of staff.

Amin became famous in 1976 when he provided a safe refuge for hostage-holding Palestinian hijackers, who were later killed at Entebbe by Israeli forces. In 1978, under Amin’s command, the Ugandan forces invaded neighbouring Tanzania. The Tanzanian forces forced them to retreat and invaded Uganda, forcing Amin to escape to Saudi Arabia via Libya. After a long illness, Amin died in 2003 in  Saudi Arabia. The Ugandan government refused his family permission to allow Amin to die in Uganda.

• Boddy-Evans A. “This day in African History: 25 January”, fromAfrican History, [online], Available at [Accessed: 16 January 2012]
•, “Idi Amin”, [online], Available at [Accessed: 16 January 2012]

Last updated : 25-Jan-2016

This article was produced by South African History Online on 19-Jan-2012

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