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1979: New president for war-torn Uganda

VIDEO : New president ends 8 years of terror

A man driven into exile by former Uganda dictator Idi Amin has been sworn in as the country's new president.

Yusufu Lule was greeted by cheering crowds when he arrived back in Uganda yesterday from neighbouring Tanzania.

On Saturday Mr Lule took his presidential oath in a ceremony on the steps of the parliament building in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

The new president then called for a moment's silence for the estimated half a million people who had died under General Amin's rule.

Flanked by Tanzanian army commanders whose troops drove Idi Amin from Kampala, Mr Lule appealed to his countrymen not to seek vengeance.

"We must not indulge in the evil acts of the regime we have just removed," he said.

President Lule condemned the former leader as a rebel and ordered commando squads to track him down.

He urged troops still loyal to Idi Amin to surrender saying they would be "protected" if they handed over their weapons.

Elections

Last year Idi Amin precipitated his own downfall by sending troops to annexe part of Tanzania.

But Tanzania fought back, invaded Uganda and helped unify the various anti-Amin rebel groups.

Last month the dictator was forced to flee and is now believed to be in a remote area of the country with his remaining troops.

President Lule has said free elections will be held within two years -the first in the central African state since 1962.

The formation of the new government is being celebrated by the Ugandan people but it is a blow for Milton Obote, the man deposed by Idi Amin in 1971.

Mr Obote is a close friend of Tanzania's president Nyerere and many expected him to once again become president after Idi Amin's fall.

But Mr Obote's nine-year rule and his socialist reforms were almost as unpopular as Amin's regime.

Anti-Amin forces and exile groups told President Nyerere they would not tolerate Mr Obote being reinstated.

In Context
Idi Amin escaped from Uganda to exile in Saudi Arabia. He died in Jeddah in August 2003.

Uganda's leadership went through an unstable period over the next few years.

Two presidents, including the man deposed by Amin, Milton Obote, were ousted by army coups.

However, a period of relative stability began when Yoweri Museveni became president in 1986.

He has overseen a period of dramatic improvement in Uganda's economy but has attracted criticism for not allowing multiparty politics.

President Museveni has also been unable to end two rebel insurgencies in the north and west of the country which have led to the death and displacement of tens of thousands of people.


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