Born in 1925, Idi Amin became an Army officer in Uganda, trained and promoted by the British. In 1971 he led a coup against Ugandan prime minister Milton Obote, who had previously appointed Amin commander in chief of the army.
Amin installed himself as president and dissolved the parliament. He then instigated a systematic reign of terror in Uganda, expelling all Asian citizens and persecuting tribes other than his own, the Kakwa.
It is estimated that between 100,000 and 300,000 people were tortured and killed during his rule.
Border disputes strained relationships with Tanzania and Kenya, and in 1978 he attacked Tanzania while Tanzanian troops invaded Uganda. Amin escaped overseas and eventually found refuge in Saudi Arabia where he lived until his death on 16 August 2003, at the age of 78.