• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: Uganda celebrates 20 years of independence on October 9.

  • Description

    GVs New flag on pole. Fireworks exploding. SVs & GVs Duke and Duchess of Kent greeted by new President Milton Obote. GV Obote takes oath. (SOUND) GV Obote receives instruments of office from the Duke (6 shots) 0.26
    KAMPALA, 1963: GVs & SVs The Kabaka standing on rostrum Inspects guard of honour. Walks past drummers to parliament (5 shots) 0.46
    UGANDA, JANUARY 1971: (COLOUR) SVs Idi Amin directing tanks during coup (2 shots) 0.51
    . KAMPALA, FEBRUARY 5, 1971: GVs Troops firing salute. Amin looking on. Inspecting guard of honour. Takes oath (6 shots)
    SPEECH (TRANSCRIPT): AMIN: "I will well and truly exercise the functions of the head of government of the Republic of Uganda, so help me God." 1.25
    KAMPALA, JANUARY 1971: GVs & SV Cheering crowd watches monument to Obote being pulled down (3 shots) 1.33
    KABAKS TOMBS, NEAR KAMPALA, 1971: GVs & SVs Baganda tribe celebrates Obote's downfall with singing and drumming (4 shots) 1.50
    ENTEBBE, AUGUST 1972: GV & SV Asians boarding aircraft after being deported (2 shots) 1.59
    KAMPALA, 1977: GV INTERIOR PAN Bishop conducting funeral service. Dignatories. GV PAN FROM Amin TO congregation. GV EXTERIOR Church. GV Amin and Bishop leave church (4 shots) 2.21

    Background: INTRODUCTION: Uganda celebrates 20 years of independence on October 9. When Dr. Milton Obote took power in 1962 after 68 years of British rule he said he was confident the country could go forward under a strong stable government. Unfortunately, a series of political upheavals climaxing in the eight-year reign of Idi Amin, brought economic chaos and ruin to the country. However, there are signs that life has been improving slowly since 1979, when Amin was toppled from power, and investment aid is once again flowing in.

    SYNOPSIS: Midnight on October 9 and Uganda begins life as Africa's 33rd independent nation. The government was led by Dr. Milton Obote, leader of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC) and Prime Minister. He received a rapturous welcome from a crowd of 40,000. Present at the ceremony, as the Union Jack was taken down and the Ugandan flag raised, was the Duke and Duchess of Kent.

    Exactly a year after independence Uganda became a republic with Mutesa II Kabaka (King) of Buganda as first President. By 1966, rivalry between the UPC and followers of the Kabaka was intense. Heavy fighting broke out and the Kabaka fled to Britain where he later died.

    January 1971, and Major General, later Field Marshal Idi Amin directed the tanks of his Malire regiment. The coup deposing President Obote was swift and effective.

    In February, General Amin was sworn in as head of state. A crowd of some 10,000 watched the ceremony which heralded eight years of controversial and bloody rule.

    Dr. Obote's statue crashes down to the accompaniment of cheers from the crowd. The man himself fled to Tanzania until his triumphant return eight years later.

    Uganda's main tribe, the Baganda, who make up nearly a third of the population, was overjoyed. They had seen their traditional ruler the Kabaka deposed by Obote. The beginning of Amin's rule was marked by the massacre of troops from Obote's Lango tribe and the Acholi.

    In August 1972 Amin proclaimed an economic war to free Uganda from what he called "foreign domination". This included the expulsion of 70,000 British Asians. The move strained relations with Britain further and undoubtedly weakened the already afflicted Ugandan economy.

    But General Amin's ruthless suppression of dissent and the stories of atrocities emanating from fleeing refugees brought world condemnation. Church leaders who had been openly critical of his regime were removed. World indignation was aroused when the Anglican Archbishop Janani Luwum and two cabinet ministers were murdered in February 1977.

    In late 1978 an invasion force of Tanzanian troops and Ugandan exiles crossed the border and rapidly took control of the country. This rare propaganda film shows Amin and his three sons rallying his troops on the border area.

    By April of the following year, the Tanzanian troops, meeting little resistance, swept onwards to the capital Kampala. Here they took the Owen Falls bridge near the strategic industrial town of Jinja. Amin's retreating forces left behind a trail of atrocities. Some 60 civilians were said to have been hurled to their deaths from the Owen Falls dam.

    And further evidence of atrocities emerged. This grave was estimated to contain the bodies of at least 200 civilians who were ambushed on a train at Soroti, a northern town at the edge of Amin's native region.

    In July, 1976 air France plane was hijacked to Entebbe airport. The hostages were rescued in a daring Israeli commando raid. But 75-year-old Mrs. Dora Bloch a British Israeli-citizen was taken ill while being held hostage. Later, she was murdered after being dragged from her hospital bed by secret police Three years later her body was returned to her son Bertram. It was taken to Jerusalem for burial.

    Dar-es-Salaam, June 1979: And the new President of Uganda Dr. Yusuf Lule who replaced Amin met Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere. The Ugandan president wanted assurances that the 40,000 Tanzanian troops remaining in Uganda would not be withdrawn too quickly.

    However, later that month a new president was sworn in -- Dr. Godfrey Binaisa. He was elected by the Ugandan National Liberation Front (UNLF) to replace President Lule. Members of the UNLF Consultative Council passed a vote of "no confidence" in President Lule reportedly because of his dictatorial manner. The new President promised democratic elections in two years.

    And in December 1980, the electoral machinery returned to operation after 18 years. Four parties contested the elections which were won by the Uganda People's Congress (UPC). Milton Obote returned in triumph to Kampala again as President almost ten years after being overthrown. But there was widespread allegations of vote-rigging and continuing unrest in the country districts.

    Last year, Dr. Obote was host to three other East African Presidents -- Julius Nyerere of Tanzania, Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia. The four men laughed and joked through a news conference, however, the summit marked a new era of co-operation for these East African countries as they strengthened relations again.

    But what of Uganda's future? In the country these children are still dependent on foreign aid for food, but the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) which runs schools and medical centres says the children appear noticeably better fed than two years ago. President Obote has passed legislation allowing expelled Asians to reclaim their confiscated property but it is doubtful whether many will take up the opportunity. Life in Kampala is reported better with no food shortages but prices are very high compared with salaries. International aid is reported to be flooding back and European and Asian businessmen are said to be showing a renewed interest in the country which has been called "The Pearl of Africa".

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