Image | Idi Amin.
In 1960s, a rift developed between Amin and Obote, exacerbated by the support Amin had built within the Uganda Army by recruiting from the West Nile region, his involvement in operations to support the rebellion in southern Sudan and an attempt on Obote's life in 1969. In October 1970, Obote took control of the armed forces, reducing Amin from his months-old post of commander of all the armed forces to that of the commander of the Uganda Army.
Having learned that Obote was planning to arrest him for misappropriating army funds, Amin seized power in a military coup on 25 January 1971, while Obote was attending a Commonwealth summit meeting in Singapore. Troops loyal to Amin sealed off Entebbe International Airport and took Kampala. Soldiers surrounded Obote's residence and blocked major roads. A broadcast on Radio Uganda accused Obote's government of corruption and preferential treatment of the Lango region. Cheering crowds were reported in the streets of Kampala after the radio broadcast. Amin, who presented himself a soldier, not a politician, declared that the military government would remain only as a caretaker regime until new elections, which would be held when the situation was normalised. He promised to release all political prisoners.
Amin held a state funeral in April 1971 for Edward Mutesa, former king (kabaka) of Buganda and president who had died in exile; freed many political prisoners; and reiterated his promise to hold free and fair elections to return the country to democratic rule in the shortest period possible.
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