Michela Wrong

Why were 80,000 Asians suddenly expelled from Uganda in 1972?

Lucy Fulford never fully explains how this community was so easily scapegoated, nor why Idi Amin’s decree caused such jubilation across East Africa at the time

Idi Amin at the time of the Asian expulsions in 1972. [Getty Images]

The mantelpieces of many an Asian family in Leicester and London, it is said, sport two framed photographs. One is of Idi Amin, the African dictator who expelled them from Uganda; the other is of Edward Heath, the prime minister who allowed them in. ‘This double gratitude,’ writes Lucy Fulford, ‘says thanks for throwing us out and thanks for taking us in.’

Asians filled teddy bears with jewellery and baked diamonds into snacks taken aboard their last flights out

If the expulsion from ‘the Pearl of Africa’ of 80,000 Asians was the most traumatic experience of their lives, many also retro-actively recognise...

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