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Idi AminThe Story of Africa's Icon of Evil$
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Mark Leopold

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780300154399

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300154399.001.0001

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A Resistible Rise? 1959–65

A Resistible Rise? 1959–65

(p.91) 3 A Resistible Rise? 1959–65
Idi Amin

Mark Leopold

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the first half of the 1960s, which was an eventful and pivotal time for Idi Amin. He began the decade as a colonial soldier, and Ugandan independence, which arrived on October 9, 1962, at first changed little in the military life. As the new East African nations gained their independence one by one, their King's African Rifles (KAR) battalions took on new, national names. The Ugandan 4th Battalion, as a new independent national army, reverted to its early colonial designation 'the Uganda Rifles', but it continued to be run by white British officers more or less as before, though there was, of course, an increased push towards 'Africanisation' of the senior ranks. Gradually, over the first half of the 1960s, Amin rose from being a very junior officer under British rule to become the powerful head of independent Uganda's armed forces. His role became increasingly political rather than military, as he was more and more embroiled in the lively and often acrimonious politics of post-independence Uganda.

Keywords:   Idi Amin, Ugandan independence, Ugandan 4th Battalion, Uganda Rifles, military life, Ugandan armed forces, post-independence Uganda, Ugandan politics

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