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Idi Amin Dada (c. 1925 â€“ August 16, 2003) was a military dictator, the third President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King’s African Rifles in 1946. Eventually he held the rank of Major General in the post-colonial Ugandan Army and became its Commander before seizing power in the military coup of January 1971, deposing Milton Obote. He later promoted himself to Field Marshal while he was the head of state.
Amin’s rule was characterized by gross human rights abuse, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000. During his years in power, Amin shifted in allegiance from being a pro-Western ruler enjoying considerable Israeli support to being backed by Libya’s Muammar al-Gaddafi, the Soviet Union and East Germany.