I was looking up the war between Tanzania and Uganda, where Tanzanian forces invaded Uganda to remove Idi Amin, and learned that Idi Amin was able to hold out for a little while thanks to the support of a contingent of Libyan forces sent by Khadafi.

Here is an interesting article that summarizes the campaign:


The question is, why did Khadafi chose to back Idi Amin, even to the extent of deploying military assets in support of the Ugandan Army?

Did Khadafi think he could establish a base in the region that he could use to promote Libyan power and influence?

Did Khadafi see economic interests in the African Great Lakes region, and hoped to use Uganda as a country from which to back his regional economic interests with military force?

What happened to the Libyans once Idi Amin fell? Did they just flee to neighboring countries? Or did the bulk of the Libyan forces surrender, and had to be repatriated back to Libya under tough negotiations?

Brian Ghilliotti

1 Answer 1


Why did Gaddafi support Idi Amin?

Gaddafi was known for backing a number of leaders viewed as anathema to Westernization and political liberalism, including Ugandan President Idi Amin, Central African Emperor Jean-Bédel Bokassa, Ethiopian strongman Haile Mariam Mengistu, Liberian President Charles Taylor, and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević.

Idi Amin's Expulsion of Asians from Uganda soured his relationships with the West and endeared him to those who hated the West, including Libya (financial and military aid), East Germany (helped to build Amin's secret police), and Soviet Union (became Amin's largest arms supplier).

What happened to the Libyans once Idi Amin fell?

The Libyan forces retreated to Jinja and then were repatriated finally through Kenya and Ethiopia. I seem to recall that this involved a ransom paid by Gaddafi to the new government of Uganda.

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