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Milton Obote

From Academic Kids

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MiltonObote1980.jpg
Obote pictured at the beginning of his second term in December 1980

Apollo Milton Obote (born December 28, 1924) was President of Uganda from 1966 to 1971 and again from 1980 to 1985.

Obote was born in Lango district in northern Uganda. He began his political career with Jomo Kenyatta in Kenya, after being denied an opportunity to study law in the United States by the British colonial government. Upon returning to Uganda, he founded the Ugandan National Congress (UNC) in 1955 and was elected to the colonial legislature in 1958. In 1959, the UNC split, and Obote became head of the newly formed Uganda People's Congress (UPC). After several years as head of the opposition, Obote formed a coalition with the Baganda royalist party and was elected prime minister in 1961. He assumed the post on April 25, 1962, with Sir Edward Mutesa, the kabaka (king) of the Baganda as president when Uganda gained independence in October 1962.

As prime minister, Obote was accused of involvement in a gold smuggling plot in 1966, together with Idi Amin, then deputy commander of the Ugandan armed forces. When Parliament demanded an investigation of Obote and the ousting of Amin, Obote suspended the constitution and had several members of his cabinet arrested. Obote was eventually cleared of the charges but the episode created tensions between him and Mutesa, who was critical of Obote for suspending the constitution. Obote responded by staging a coup against Mutesa and having himself declared president on March 2, 1966.

Obote was Uganda's second post-colonial president. His rule was greatly destabilized by the military. On January 25, 1971 he was deposed by his army commander, Major-General Idi Amin.

He spent nine years in exile in Tanzania. However, he along with other exiled Ugandans, attempted to overthrow Amin. The first such attempt came on September 17, 1972 in an attack from Tanzania that was repulsed by Amin's forces.

Second term

After the fall of Amin in 1980, facilitated by Amin's invasion of Tanzania and its repulsion with the help of Ugandan and Rwandan guerillas, Obote was reinstated as president. It has been estimated that from 100,000 to 300,000 people died as a result of fighting between Obote's UNLA and several other military groups, most notably Yoweri Museveni's NRA. He was deposed in 1985 by Lt Gen Bazilio Olara Okello. A Military Council was established with Tito Okello as its head. Within a year, Yoweri Museveni took control of Uganda.

After his downfall, Obote fled to Tanzania and now lives in Zambia. There are on and off rumors that he may seek a return to Ugandan politics.


Preceded by:
Edward Mutesa
President of Uganda
1966 – 1971
Succeeded by:
Idi Amin
Preceded by:
Presidential Commission of Uganda
President of Uganda
1980 – 1985
Succeeded by:
Tito Lutwa Okello

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External links

he:מילטון אובוטה nl:Milton Obote

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