Idi Amin joined the Ugandan Army in 1962 and quickly rose to commander of the armed forces. In 1971 he overthrew dictator Milton Obote and seized power.
During his nine-year reign, Mr. Amin was responsible for the deaths of an estimated half-million people. He was finally dethroned in 1979 by Tanzanian troops joined by Ugandan dissidents. The coup followed Amin's 1978 invasion of Tanzania.
Because of his friendship with King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, Amin fled to that country, reportedly arriving with two wives and 24 children. He's lived there 22 years, now in an exclusive community outside Jiddah, the capital.
In a 1999 interview with the New Vision, a Ugandan newspaper, Amin said he still receives Ugandan foodstuffs from his hometown of Koboko, and is fond of fishing in the Red Sea, watching sports and CNN, and playing his accordion.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor