07 August 2016
On 7 August 1972, Idi Amin orders the expulsion of most of the country's Asian population, who are there as a legacy of the British Empire era. Many of the refugees make a new home in Britain
On this day, 7 August 1972, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin gives 60,000 Asian residents – most of the country’s Asian minority – 90 days to leave the only place they’d ever called home. Asian families had been living in Uganda for more than a century – they were the descendants of Indians taken from British India to Uganda (and other British colonies) to supply labour for projects such as the Ugandan Railway, as well as clerical work.
Around 50,000 Asians were eventually expelled, amid a growing climate of Indophobia in Uganda. Britain was taken by surprise by the expulsion and gave residence to around 30,000 Ugandan Asians who held British passports, despite fierce objections at home.
The refugees arrived in Britain poverty-stricken after being stripped of their homes and businesses without being compensated. Other victims of the ethnic cleansing emigrated to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan and neighbouring African countries.
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