Normalization of Diplomatic Relations with Britain -compensation Agreement with India Strained Relations with Kenya



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August 1976 - UGANDA 

Attempt on Life of President Amin -Normalization of Diplomatic Relations with Britain -Compensation Agreement with India - Strained Relations with Kenya 

President Amin of Uganda narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in Kampala on June 10, 1976, when three hand grenades were thrown as he was leaving a passing-out parade at the Nsambya police barracks. 

The grenades failed to hit the President but injured at least 36 persons, one of whom-the President's driver-died on June 15. The attackers were immediately overpowered, some of them being subsequently reported as having been killed and others taken to prison. Further reports of widespread arrests and killings following the attempt were, however, emphatically denied by the President on June 14. 

According to press reports in Kenya, based on sources in Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania), another attempt on President Amin's life had been made a week earlier when a car was shot at in Entebbe and its three occupants were killed, shortly before the President's car passed by without incident. 

Among earlier reports of attempts to overthrow President Amin was one according to which diplomatic sources in Nairobi had stated on Sept. 9, 1975, that troops led by a Lieut.-Colonel Gori (a cousin of the late Lieut. -Colonel Michael Ondoga, the former Foreign Minister whose body had been found in the Nile in March 1975A) had made an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Government of Uganda. 

The Ugandan Defence Council announced on June 25 that it had appointed Field Marshal Amin as President of Uganda for life and congratulated him on having achieved within a few years" what nobody could have done in a century". 

Diplomatic relations with Britain, which had been strained by the threatened execution of the British lecturer, Mr Denis Hills, in June-July 1975, were restored to normal on Dec 18, 1975, with the appointment of a UK high commissioner (Mr James Hennessy-hitherto acting high commissioner) for the first time since the recall of Mr Richard Slater in late 1972 following the expulsion in that year of non-citizen Asians holding British passports. 

Among some 500 Britons still in Uganda, Mr Thomas Walter Webb, a ground engineer with Fast African Airways, returned to Britain on May 8, 1976, after having been accused of plotting to overthrow the Government of Uganda : he had earlier, on April 15, been fined 10,000 shillings (about £625) for possessing an air pistol and spent ammunition without a licence, and had been released from prison on May 3. 

Although the issue of compensation for property losses by Asian holders of UK passports expelled from Uganda in 1972 remained unresolved despite negotiations, a compensation agreement was reached between Uganda and India. 

On Jan.24, 1976, President Amin handed to Mr Bipin Pal Das, Indian Deputy Minister of External Affairs, a cheque for over $1,600,000 (13,000,000 rupees), this amount to be distributed as compensation to Indians expelled from Uganda in 1972. President Amin stated that he had promised to pay such compensation when he met Mrs Indira Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister, at the conference of non-aligned countries in Algeria in September 1973. The number of Indian citizens affected was between 6,000 and 7,000 : a total of 1,535 claims had been filed on their behalf : and the payment had been agreed in negotiations concluded in December 1975. The Ugandan President also stated that he wished to strengthen relations between the two countries and in particular to obtain Indian co-operation in setting up more sugar mills in Uganda. 

Strained Relations with


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