idi amin

He was inarguably one of the most evil dictators to have ruled on the African continent. He was famed for the ruthless killings of those he perceived to be his enemies. He was also responsible for the economic collapse of his country Uganda during that period and  these and many more are the reasons  why he has made the it to the most evil list.


  1. Idi Amin was born between the year 1925 and 1927 in Koboko Uganda. He came from the Kakwa tribes of Uganda. His father was Andreas Nyabire and he converted to Islam from Roman Catholicism in 1910. Idi Amins parents separated and his mum Assa Aatte raised him by herself.
idi father
Idi Amins father and first wife

2. Amin had a half baked education and left school with a fourth grade certification. During this period Uganda was under British rule and Idi joined the British colonial army as a private(the lowest military rank) in the year 1946. However Idi Amin took orders from his superiors well and very much impressed them.

3. His military conquests included fighting against the Mau Mau  rebels in Kenya. He fought against Somali rebels in the shufta war. By 1952 he was promoted to the rank of corporal and in 1953 to the rank of sergeant. He eventually attained the rank of leuitenant in 1959. This rank was the highest rank a black African soldier could attain at that time.

mau mau suspects
British army searching mau mau suspects

4. Idi Amin was eventually promoted to commander of the armed forces of Uganda and he formed a close relationship with Ugandas then prime minister, Milton Obote. Obote and Idi Amin were reportedly involved in corrupt practices of smuggling gold, ivory from Congo and exchanging them for arms. Milton Obote eventually did away with laws of the constitution and declared himself no longer prime minister but as the executive president of Uganda. The ceremonial president at the time was Mutesa II of Buganda in south central Uganda. Milton sent troops to attack Mutesa’s palace and he fled to great Britain.

idi amin and obote
Idi Amin and Milton Obote

5. By 1970 Amin and Obote began to grow apart.While he was chief commander of the armed forces, Idi Amin recruited members to join his army from South Sudan and other ethnic groups in the west nile area. Milton Obote was almost assassinated and strongly suspected Idi Amin had a hand in it. Milton then demoted Idi Amin from commander in chief to all the armed forces and personally assumed that position. Idi Amin was left to the lower position of commander of the army. Milton Obote then ordered Idi Amins arrest. This must have been the straw that broke the camels back because in 1971 January 25 Idi Amin staged a coup and seized power from Obote and sent him to exile.

6. Milton Obote’s regime was corrupt no doubt and the people of Uganda were happy to receive Idi Amin as their new president. Idi Amin portrayed a false image to the Ugandan people. He came across as charming and a nationalist. When he first got to power he freed political prisoners that were incarcerated by Obote and made many promises to the Ugandan people.

idi amin swearing in
Idi Amin’s swearing in

7. This facade wouldn’t last long as Idi Amins true colours began to show. He murdered tribes who were still loyal to Obote such as the Acholi and Lango christian tribes. Then in 1972 Idi Amin drove away between 50,000 to 70,000 Asians from the Indian sub-continent who were living in Uganda and who had businesses there. This act led to the collapse of the Ugandan economy.

asians expelled
Expelled asians leaving Uganda

8. Idi Amin didn’t just answer the name president ,but he was famed for giving himself the title of ” His Excellency President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.”  Initially Israel supported Idi Amin and would supply arms to him. But the relationship turned sour when Idi Amin expelled Israeli military advisers and formed an alliance with Libya and Gadaffi instead.

Idi Amin7 swearing in
British ex-army officers swear the oath of allegiance to Idi Amin in Kampala, 1975

9. There were widespread rumours that Idi Amin was a cannibal. He was quoted as saying ” Its not for me, I tried human flesh its too salty for my taste”. Whether he meant this as a joke  or he was being serious is up for debate. He was known not to value human life as he killed anyone who opposed his regime. He murdered members of his staff who got him upset.

10. Idi Amin ordered an attack on Tanzania because he felt the tanzanians wanted to overthrow his government. However his plans came to nothing because the tanzanian troops invaded Uganda and did overthrow his government on April 11, 1978.

Its sad to know that Idi Amin never paid for his crimes. He fled to Libya for exile then later settled in Saudi Arabia. There he lived till his death on August 16, 2003. He was 78 years old. Once again we have come to the end of another segment in the most evil series. Who do you think we should cover next? drop your suggestions below. Till next time folks.


Encyclopedia Britannica. (2018). Idi Amin | Biography, Facts, & Death. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 May 2018]. (2018). Idi Amin Biography – life, story, school, mother, book, information, born, tall, time. [online] Available at: [Accessed 15 May 2018].
Radford, L. (2018). 11 Brutal Acts Against Humanity Committed By Uganda’s Most Ruthless Dictator. [online] Ranker. Available at: [Accessed 15 May 2018].


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