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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Uganda-Tanzania War, the fall of Idi Amin, and the failure of African diplomacy, 1978-1979
Author:Roberts, George
Periodical:Journal of Eastern African Studies (ISSN 1753-1063)
Geographic terms:Tanzania
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/17531055.2014.946236
Abstract:The Uganda-Tanzania War of 1978-1979, which has received little attention from historians, was a landmark event in post-colonial East African history. In response to Idi Amin's annexation of the Kagera Salient in north-western Tanzania in November 1978, Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere launched a controversial counter-attack that routed Amin's forces and swept him from power in April 1979. Rooted in a deep rivalry between Amin and Nyerere, the conflict provoked bitter exchanges at the Organization of African Unity (OAU), contributed to the failure of 'ujamaa' in Tanzania, and brought an end to eight years of brutal dictatorship in Uganda. This article uses British diplomatic sources to explore the causes and course of the conflict. In particular, it examines how Julius Nyerere sought to hide from and later justify to the rest of the world an invasion of Uganda and the overthrowing of Idi Amin, actions that contravened the Charter of the OAU. Distinct among contemporaneous African conflicts for its noticeable lack of a Cold War context, the war demonstrated the shortcomings of the OAU in resolving African conflicts. Despite some dissenting voices, Nyerere's own disregard for State sovereignty was largely overlooked, as the fall of Amin's regime was quietly welcomed by the majority of Africa's leaders. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]