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1972: Amin ultimatum to Uganda Britons
Ugandan leader General Idi Amin has given British workers an ultimatum to accept reduced pay or be expelled from the country in 12 days.

British workers are being told to accept a 40% pay cut or get out.

The British High Commission is trying to seek clarification on the policy.

General Amin, who has taken possession of British firms and interests in the country, issued the deadline during a presidential address.

It affects 780 British technical experts working in the country under the aid programme, who, with their families, make up half of the 3,000 Britons there.

There are reports it will affect workers differently depending on whether they previously said they wanted to leave the country - those who did are likely to be the first to be expelled.

Those who decide to leave will only be departing with a 50 emigration fee instead of the usual 3,000.

Ugandan radio has been broadcasting regular messages to remind Britons how many days they have left in the country in what is being seens as a process of intimidation.


Foreign Secretary Alec Douglas-Home has condemned the announcement and there is speculation he will refer it to the United Nations.

It comes as British firms and tea estates, understood to be worth between about 12,000 and 30,000, have been taken over by General Amin.

Many Britons living in Uganda have married local women and have run tea estates for up to 25 years but will have to now give them up.

The opportunities for compensation are low despite a Properties and Businesses (Acquisitions) Decree signed by the leader.

It affects 41 foreign-owned concerns, most of which are British, who are required to submit declarations of assets and liabilities by 31 December.

The tactic at play for Britons to leave the country have been used before by General Amin, who first expelled Israelis and then Asians.

The Asian community was airlifted from the country aboard chartered flights with many travelling to Britain.

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Idi Amin
Idi Amin has already expelled Jews and Asians from Uganda

In Context
There followed intense diplomatic discussions between both governments which resulted in some compromises.

Many Britons were ultimately allowed to leave the country with 3,000 in emigration fees instead of the original planned 50.

Uganda also agreed to pay compensation in instalments to British firm owners whose companies ceased to exist after they were taken over.

General Amin fought off strong criticism from British leaders and the international community claiming his nationalisation policy was just and fair.

The notorious leader, who led Uganda through some of the bloodiest years in its history, stayed in power until he was overthrown in 1979.

He died in Jeddah in August 2003.

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