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Uganda Timeline -- Part 2: Road to Independence to Idi Amin

A Chronology of Key Events in Uganda

By Alistair Boddy-Evans, About.com

1958 Uganda achieves internal self-government.
30 September 1960 Buganda's parliament announces its intention to secede from Uganda.
1 March 1962 Benedicto Kiwanuka now prime minister of an autonomous Uganda.
30 April 1962 Apolo Milton Obote takes over as prime minister.
9 October 1962 Uganda gains independence within the Commonwealth of Nations, Apolo Milton Obote is prime minister, Walter Fleming Coutts is Governor-General (representing the Queen as Head of State) and Edward Mutebi Mutesa II continues as the Kabaka (king). Buganda has a significant degree of autonomy within the country.
1963 Prime Minister Apolo Milton Obote withdraws Uganda from the Commonwealth of Nations, announces the creation of a republic, replaces the post of Governor-general (the representative of the British Queen as head of state) with a figurehead 'presidency' and rigs the election to give that post to Mutesa II, the King (or Kabaka) of Buganda.
23 March 1963 Walter William Bishop and David Allbrook publish their paper 'New Fossil Hominoid Material from Uganda' in Nature, 197, describing Morotopithecus bishopi, a fossil ape discovered in Moroto, Uganda.
December 1963-February 1964 Exiled Tutsi guerrillas launch attacks on Rwanda from Uganda.
24 January 1964 British troops are flown in to Uganda to subdue an army mutiny over low pay.
22 February 1966 Apolo Milton Obote seizes power in Uganda and dismisses Mutesa II from the presidency. Mutesa II flees Uganda for London.
2 March 1966 Ugandan Prime Minister Apolo Milton Obote arrests five of his cabinet ministers, abrogates the constitution, and assumes the presidency (and vice-presidency) in a successful attempt to avoid a scandal involving a hidden cache of gold and ivory captured during a revolt in the Congo.
15 April 1966 Apolo Milton Obote, of the Uganda People's Congress (UPC), is declared president of Uganda as a new constitution is initiated. The new constitution also ends Buganda's autonomy.
10 June 1966 Buganda is divided into four states and traditional kingships are abolished (they are partially reinstated in 1993).
1966 Idi Amin is made chief of staf of the military by Apolo Milton Obote.
1967 Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya form the East African Community (EAC) with proposals to have a shared currency (shilling), integrated rail and air services, and a federated banking system. It lasts until 1978.
A new constitution gives considerable powers to the presidency.
8 September 1967 Uganda proclaimed a republic. Traditional kingdoms are abolished
19 September 1969 Assassination attempt on Obote.
25 January 1971 General Idi Amin Dada takes power in Uganda by military coup while the existing president, Milton Obote, is at a Commonwealth meeting in Singapore. (This is a pre-emptive strike, since President Obote had arranged for General Amin to be arrested and replaced as chief of staff on his return from Singapore.)
28 January 1971 President Idi Amin Dada of Uganda bans all political parties
4 August 1972 Asian families (over 60,000 people), who are not Ugandan citizens, are expelled by Idi Amin's government as he confiscates their assets -- they are given 90 days to leave. This leads to economic collapse and ethnic conflict in Uganda.
27 August 1972 To add insult to injury, President Idi Amin insists that all expelled Asians leave the country using East Africa Airways.
14 September 1972 After President Idi Amin praises Adolf Hitler, the US halts a $3 million loan to Uganda.
17 September 1972 Over a thousand troops loyal to former Ugandan President Milton Obote attack the country from Tanzania. The invasion is brought to a halt by Ugandan troops the next day. President Idi Amin responds by bombing Tanzanian towns.
22 September 1972 Asians are arriving in London following their mass expulsion from Uganda.
5 October 1972 Uganda, Somalia and Tanzania announce a settlement to their recent conflict.
10 February 1973 Twelve Ugandans are publicly executed for guerrilla activities.
5 July 1973 After President Idi Amin publicly insults President Nixon over Watergate, the Ugandan Ambassador is refused entry to the US.
11 July 1973 One hundred and twelve Peace Corps workers are detained and then expelled from Uganda by President Idi Amin Dada. This is taken as a reprisal over the barring of the Ugandan ambassador to the US.
24 March 1974 Coup attempt against Idi Amin is unsuccessful. Fifty army officers are executed in response.
10 January 1975 Ugandan diplomat Bernadette Olowo is the first female ambassador from Africa to the Vatican.
11 June 1975 British author and lecturer Denis Hills is found guilty by a Ugandan tribunal of treason after criticizing Idi Amin.
1976 Idi Amin declares that he is now President-for-Life, and suggests parts of Kenya and Tanzania should be part of Uganda. (There is some historical background to this, with at least one Ugandan province being given over to Kenya by the British in 1902.)
29 June 1976 Hijacked Flight 139, an Air France a-300 Airbus which departed form Athens on 26 June, lands at Entebbe Airport, Uganda. The Palestine Liberation Organization, which organized the hijack, demands the release of 53 political prisoners in exchange for the 256 hostages.
3 July 1976 Flight 139 hostages are freed at Entebbe airport by Israeli forces during Operation Thunderball led by Benjamin Netanyahu's brother Jonathan (who died during the Operation). The operation was later renamed Operation Yoni.
5 July 1976 President Idi Amin threatens Israel with retaliation for Operation Thunderball during which 45 Ugandan soldiers were killed.
7 July 1976 Dora Bloch, one of the elderly British hostages taken on hijacked Flight 139 (an Air France A-300B Airbus hijacked from Athens on 26 June) is reported as still missing. It is revealed later that she was evacuated to a Kampala hospital during the early days of the hijack, and was killed by Ugandan President Idi Amin Dada's forces as retaliation for the Israeli raid on 3 July.
28 July 1976 Following Ugandan President Idi Amin Dada's support for the pro-Palestinian hijackers at Entebbe airport earlier this month, Britain breaks off diplomatic relations.
7 February 1977 Amnesty International accuses Idi Amin of the execution of thousands of dissidents in Uganda.
16 February 1977 The Most Reverend Janani Luwum, Anglican archbishop of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaïre, is killed whilst under arrest for sedition and arms smuggling. Although the official cause of death was given as a car crash, it was revealed that Luwum and two prominent government officials were killed on the orders of Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada, Ugandan head of state.
25 February 1977 President Idi Amin detains a group of 240 US citizens.
1 March 1977 Idi Amin Dada releases the Americans held hostage in Uganda since 25 February and suggests they leave the country.
18 June 1977 Reports are emerging that Idi Amin is in hiding after another assassination attempt leaves him wounded.
1978 The East African Community (EAC) collapses.
October 1978 Colonel Idi Amin, with military assistance from Libya, sends his troops into Tanzania in an attempt to claim new territory.
2 November 1978 President Idi Amin claims he has annexed a 710 square mile strip of Tanzania.
4 March 1979 The Ugandan capital of Kampala is threatened by invading Tanzanian forces.
25 March 1979 A curfew is placed around Entebbe Airport as Rebel troops arrive on the outskirts of the city.
29 March 1979 Idi Amin Dada flees towards his tribal homeland of Kakwa as his rule of Uganda crumbles.
The presence of Libyan troops in Uganda are not enough to halt the overthrow of President Idi Amin.
11 April 1979 Tanzanian troops take Kampala, the Ugandan capital. Idi Amin flees into exile in Libya (and then to Saudi Arabia).
13 April 1979 Idi Amin Dada is deposed as president of Uganda after Ugandan exiles, backed by the Tanzanian army, seize the capital Kampala. Yusufu Kironde Lule of the Ugandan National Liberation Front (UNLF) is declared the new president (prior to national elections). Idi Amin is said to be seeking exile in Saudi Arabia.

Timeline of Uganda
Part 1: Prehistory to the Road to Independence
Part 3: Idi Amin to the Relaunch of the East Africa Community
Part 4: Relaunch of the East African Community to Present Day

Ugandan Leaders
Idi Amin
Idi Amin Timeline
Idi Amin Quotes
Edward Frederick Mutesa II

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