Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Theresa May soldiers on; Israel political turmoil; France fuel protests

Read more

FOCUS

'New right', old ideas? A closer look at the far right in Germany

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

Art Deco: France's love affair with the Roaring Twenties

Read more

#THE 51%

India's vanishing women workers

Read more

REPORTERS

Reporters: An outside view of France's Fifth Republic

Read more

#TECH 24

Audrey Tang: A hacker-turned-minister in Taiwan

Read more

ENCORE!

The Land of the Rising Sun comes to La République

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Concerts Without Borders: Making classical music accessible

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

UK car industry says draft Brexit deal is 'positive step'

Read more

REVISITED

We return to places which have been in the news - often a long time ago, sometimes recently - to see how local people are rebuilding their lives. Sunday at 9.10 pm. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

Latest update : 2018-09-21

Video: Hero or dictator? Ugandans divided over Idi Amin Dada’s legacy

Forty years after Idi Amin Dada’s bloody regime came to an end, Ugandans are divided over how to view their former leader. For older Ugandans, the president’s eight years at the helm evokes nothing but bitter memories of terror, torture and massacres. But many younger Ugandans associate him with more positive qualities, such as that of a builder, a nationalist and a separatist. Our reporters went to Uganda to trace Amin’s footsteps.

When we first began filming this report on the Idi Amin Dada years in Uganda (1971-1979), we expected to hear damning accounts of the brutality that marked the despot’s time in power. But to our surprise, it turned out that only the eldest Ugandans, those who lived through that era of dictatorship – whether they played an active role or were collateral victims – regretted the instability and massacres.

So has it only taken 40 years for Ugandans to forget the 300,000 deaths attributed to Amin’s rule? To overlook the fact that atrocities committed by his men were their daily lot, that people lived in fear, that Ugandans could be kidnapped and tortured to death to confess to a crime they did not commit?

World’s second-youngest country

With 80 percent of its population under the age of 30, Uganda is now the second-youngest country in the world in terms of population age. Few remember the Amin years. The youngest have only ever known the current president, Yoweri Museveni, in power since 1986. Uganda is currently enjoying the longest period of political stability since independence in 1962 and has high hopes for its future oil production. But millions of young people are still looking for a job, while the population's size continues to rise and corruption remains rampant.

In the minds of the youngest, nostalgia for a Uganda that had influence on the international stage, and where "hospitals and roads" were built, has superseded the legacy of the dark chapters of history. Some of the most important infrastructure in the capital, Kampala, was indeed built at that time – a time when Uganda even took the lead in global coffee production. Many politicians still align themselves with this economic legacy today, like pastor Abwed Bwanika, a failed presidential candidate who only granted us a few minutes of interview time.

In this report, we met young people nostalgic for an imaginary and bygone golden age, but also elderly Ugandans who have forgotten nothing. Like Ndawula Seguya who lost his brother and took up arms against Amin. Or Sanjiv Patel, a Ugandan of Indian origin, who had to flee the country when Amin decreed that Indians were stealing Ugandans’ jobs. We even met the dictator’s former personal photographer, Elly Rwakoma. He, too, had to flee – because of a photo that displeased Amin. Despot or hero, Amin remains very much present in the minds of Ugandans today.

By Thaïs BROUCK , Gaël GRILHOT

Archives

2018-11-02 REVISITED

Congolese nostalgic for era of Mobutu, the 'leopard of Zaire'

More than 20 years after the fall of the charismatic Congolese dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled the vast African country with an iron fist from 1965 to 1997, many Congolese...

Read more

2018-10-19 REVISITED

Semey Revisited: The legacy of nuclear testing in Kazakhstan

Nearly 30 years after the closure of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site in the steppes of eastern Kazakhstan, local people are still suffering the consequences of four decades...

Read more

2018-10-05 REVISITED

Baghdad Revisited: The resilience of the Iraqi people

"The abode of peace and capital of Islam" – this is how 14th century explorer Ibn Battuta described Baghdad in his writings. The city’s recent history, however, has been anything...

Read more

2018-09-07 REVISITED

Video: One year after Hurricane Irma, St Martin struggles to recover

On September 5, 2017, Hurricane Irma – the most powerful the Caribbean has ever seen – hit Saint-Martin, the small island France shares with the Netherlands. At least 11 people...

Read more