Idi Amin's Uganda Retold

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Yasmin Alibhai-Brown retells the story of the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin.

Journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown gives a personal account of her life in the country where she was born and calls for a more honest assessment of what actually took place before, during and after the turbulent years of General Amin's regime. The romantic story of the all-conquering Asian families being thrown out of Uganda on the whim of a an evil dictator was not all that it seemed. The mass murder of Amin's own people is largely forgotten. One of the reasons Amin gave for the expulsion was that Ugandan Asians had consistently exploited the local economy and refused to integrate with black African people- after decades of living in the country. And according to Yasmin, this is the uncomfortable truth. East African Asians were part of the British Empire and loyal to it. Even after Uganda gained independence on October 9, 1962, Asians were slow to change their ways and embrace the new order. Many continued to hold racist views about black Ugandans and were racist towards them. The black Ugandans in turn, resented them and saw them as symbols of colonial oppression-which is why their expulsion was so popular among them. But hundreds of thousands of black Ugandans were killed by Amin too or were forced into exile. Only a handful of Asians were ever killed. Yasmin returns to Uganda to gauge the extent to which black suffering has been disregarded by history, and talks to those who witnessed it and the descendants of those who lost their lives. The programme examines the reaction of native Ugandans to the expulsion, the relationship between Asians and black Ugandans before the expulsion, what happened after the Asians left and after Amin's regime fell.

.Producer: Mohini Patel.