Uganda History

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UGANDA

The British came to Uganda in the mid-1800s, though the region had been home to a number of kingdoms long before Europeans arrived. By 1890, the region was under the control of the British East Africa Company and a mere four years later, A British protectorate was declared. British settlers, who developed the agricultural possibilities of the country, prospered. By the 1950s, Britain was preparing the region for eventual independence, setting up a parliamentary government that seated both blacks and whites. Under the leadership of Milton Obote, the Uganda People's Congress became the most important political entity. In 1962, the country became independent within the British Commonwealth with Obote as president. In 1967, the country was declared independent. Four years later, Obote was ousted by Idi Amin Dada, the commander of Uganda's military. He became an absolute ruler, expelled Uganda's large Asian (Indian and Pakistani) population, and declared himself president-for-life. The degree of violence and repression under Idi Amin was unprecedented at the time. During his eight-year rule, Amin may have been responsible for the deaths of more than 300,000 of his countrymen. The economy and the nation's infrastructure was left a shambles with even the country's Makerere University fallen into ruin. Amin invaded Tanzania in 1978, which counterattacked in 1979, capturing the capital Kampala. Amin was forced into exile. A brief return by Milton Obote ended in his being exiled as well. Though the country has been plagued by intermittent clashes between rival groups, the government has made significant progress over the last decade-and-a-half in restoring stability and order to the country. Its economy is reportedly one of the fastest growing on the continent.