• Short Summary

    In Uganda, troops fighting for the new government have captured the strategic town of Jinja -- bringing to an end a two-week reign of terror by troops still faithful to the fugitive dictator, Idi Amin.

  • Description

    GV Tanzanian tanks advancing along road to Jinja with soldier carrying piano accordion (3 shots)

    GV Troops at entrance to Kinoni village

    GV Soldiers collecting foliage and digging trenches (3 shots)

    GV Branch of tree used as roadblock with Tanzanians setting up artillery at side of road as villagers pass by (3 shots)

    GV Villagers walking along road, waving to troops

    GV Troops chanting pro-Nyerere slogans and raising their guns above their heads

    CU Tanzanian Army Lieutenant Colonel with overlay of President Amin and Saudi Arabia's King Faisal at opening of Owen Falls Dan in 1972 (3 shots)

    GV TRAVEL SHOT Truck driving through plantation towards soldiers

    GV Soldiers setting up communication links and artillery piece is checked (3 shots)

    GV Soldiers preparing and loading three inch mortar

    SV & CU Anti-aircraft gun is tested by soldier (2 shots)

    Initials BB/

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Uganda, troops fighting for the new government have captured the strategic town of Jinja -- bringing to an end a two-week reign of terror by troops still faithful to the fugitive dictator, Idi Amin. But the liberating army of Tanzanian regulars and Ugandan exiles found no trace of the ousted president. Earlier, it had been thought that Idi Amin and about a thousand loyal soldiers had been preparing for a last stand in Jinja.

    SYNOPSIS: These troops had struck out from the Ugandan capital of Kampala two days earlier (18 April). Their advance towards Jinja was described as slow and methodical. Reuters news agency quoted both Tanzanian and Ugandan officers as saying their infantry warfare had been completely effective against Amin's forces and the Libyan troops sent in to help him. This is the village of Kinoni, fifteen miles (24 kms) west of Jinja, which fleeing Ugandan civilians claimed had been occupied by five to six hundred of Amin's troops.

    These troops were also reportedly controlling the vital dam and power station bridging the River Nile at Owen Falls, a few miles (kms) to the north. Tanzanian troops dug foxholes in fields of coffee plants close to Kinoni to prepare for possible battle against Amin's forces. A reconnaissance platoon had spotted two Ugandan army tanks and an armoured personnel carrier at nearby road blocks. One Jinja resident who had escaped across the River Nile was convinced that Amin was in the town, directing its defence.

    Refugees fleeing massacres by Amin's forces were at this time urging the new Kampala government to speed up its measured advance into the areas where killings were continuing. They told Kenyan newsmen that thousands more could be butchered on the final death list of Amin's notorious State Research Bureau - or secret police -- unless the Tanzanian troops advanced more quickly.

    One appeal had gone to the Ugandan provisional government to form a special task force to be deployed for swift action in wiping out Amin's remaining supporters. Those making the appeal claimed that Amin's followers, many of them members of his northern Kakwa tribe, were killing hundreds of men, women and children in the northern and eastern areas that the advancing government forces had not yet reached. A Tanzanian flying column had already secured the Owen Falls dam and power station. It was seven years ago that the then President Amin officially opened the dam, with the late King Faisal of Saudi Arabia as his guest.

    Reuters said the Tanzanian troops were keeping their advance slow for fear of over-extending their supply lines. Even if they wanted to speed up, they were faced with a shortage of vehicles and fuel.

    Tanzanian officers had been told that nobody had seen Amin himself in Jinja, but that his helicopter had been spotted flying in and out of the town's "Eagle Gaddafi" barracks, and that a convoy of his private cars, with a Mercedes Benz at its head, was also there.

    On Friday (20 April), as these troops were preparing for their final push to Jinja, it was reported that one hundred and fifty civilians, fleeing in trucks to Kenya, had been killed in an ambush three miles (5 kms) from the border town of Busia, which is one hundred kilometres (62.5 miles) east of Jinja. Many residents of Jinja itself had disappeared, and were believed to have been murdered. One resident told the troops that the military commander of the "Eagle Gaddafi" barracks had fled. These Tanzanians were to press on and capture Jinja without a battle.

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