Milton Obote

(1924—2005) prime minister and president of Uganda

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(b. 1924, d. 18 Oct 2005).

President of Uganda 1966–71, 1980–5 He was born in Lango as the son of a local chief. He was active in the movement for Kenyan independence, but returned in 1955 to join the Uganda National Congress, which he transformed into the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) from 1962. Upon Ugandan independence, he became Prime Minister, and in 1966 deposed Mutesa II to assume the presidency. His government was plagued by scandals, and he became dependent upon the army under Amin. With the latter, his increasingly repressive regime expelled 30,000 Kenyan workers in 1970. The Kenyans' departure precipitated an economic crisis, which further increased his unpopularity. He was deposed by Amin in 1971, and went into exile in Tanzania. After Amin's overthrow he was ‘elected’ President in a corrupt and violent election. Having abandoned his socialist policies, he was supported by the USA and the UK, despite reports of continuing human rights violations under his regime. His repressions triggered off opposition by the National Resistance Army under Museveni. Never a figure of much integrity or charisma, he was deposed in 1985 and retired to Zambia.

Subjects: Social Sciences — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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