The Impact Of Sanctions On Idi Amin's Dictatorship

1619 words - 7 pages

From the time Idi Amin came to power in Uganda until the time his regime fell, his brutal rule negatively impacted Uganda in every aspect of its existence. In 1971, Idi Amin along with military support, ousted Prime Minister Milton Obote while he was out of the country in Singapore attending a Commonwealth summit meeting with many other leaders of African and European countries. Over the course of his violent reign, Idi Amin killed between 100,000 and 300,000 of his own people and doomed the economy with the expulsion of those of Asian nationality. Many of his victims were killed for no reason, or for a very insignificant action. Amin was in power from 1971 to 1979 and proved early into his ...view middle of the document...

Amin personally ordered the killings of important people, such as the former Prime Minister, the Anglican Archbishop, the governor of the Bank of Uganda, and several of his own parliamentary counterparts. Not only did Amin harm Uganda by killing a lot of its population, he also was the cause of an almost complete economic collapse, when, in 1972, he declared an “economic war” on the Asian population in Uganda. Uganda’s economy relied heavily on its Asian population because they ran most of the manufacturing and trade sectors as well as making up a large portion of the civil service. Amin’s order of expulsion for the Asian population gave them three months to exit Uganda. They were given British passports and the businesses they left behind were turned over to Amin’s supporters. Amin not only decimated the population of Uganda during his despotic reign but caused the economy to falter and fail as well.
As his reign of terror went on, news of Amin’s crimes and atrocities began surfacing internationally, spurring retaliatory actions from countries all over the world. The United States as well as the United Kingdom, Japan, France, the Netherlands, and West Germany played a large role in Uganda’s trading by being the largest exporters of their coffee. The United States exported the most, being responsible for 75% of all the coffee exported by Uganda. In the beginning stages of Amin’s reign, the United States did not do much more than denounce Amin and the major violations of human rights being committed under him (Nurnberger 71). Through the thesis and knowledge of Uganda’s economy from William Goold, the legislative assistant to Representative Donald J. Pease, the Congressional approach to Uganda changed abruptly in 1977. With more research into Uganda’s economy, it became clear to Pease that Amin had made a very large, negative impact on Uganda’s economy that far into his reign. Coffee was determined to be Uganda’s largest export, and large source of foreign capital (Nurnberger 71). Many investigations probed into the importance and significance of coffee exports in Uganda, ultimately learning that before Amin’s reign, coffee accounted for 53% of Uganda’s foreign income, as opposed to 1977, where 97% of Uganda’s foreign income was the result of coffee exports. With the United States at the helm and its allies following along, they began to purchase and export more and more coffee from Uganda, and eventually were responsible for 75% of all exports, with the United States buying the majority of that 75%. Since the coffee the United States exported from Uganda only made up about 4% of all the coffee in the United States, Congress made the decision that a boycott would not affect the US greatly. Although many US companies were hesitant to eradicate Ugandan coffee from their sales, when President Carter signed a total trade ban into law in October of 1978, stores were content. This trade ban had harsh repercussions on Uganda’s already crippled economy...

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