New insight into Amin's passion for Scotland

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STARTLING revelations about the 1970s Ugandan dictator Idi Amin's obsession with Scotland will be made this week.

The dictator developed a lifelong affection for the country while in the King's African Rifles, where his commanding officers were all Scottish.

A BBC documentary will be screened as part of a behind-the-scenes look at The Last King of Scotland, a fictional film account of Amin's relationship with a Scottish doctor, Nicholas Garrigan, based on the novel by Giles Foden.

The director and producer of the Artworks documentary, Fran Robertson said: "We were keen to find original news footage to put the film in context and really show Amin's affinity with Scotland. There's one scene from real-life footage from 1976, where a full African-American band are marching down the streets of Uganda in full kilt regalia, playing drums and bagpipes. We also heard numerous reports of him Scottish dancing and drinking whisky while he was in the army."

Documentary footage reveals that one of the bagpipers who plays for the fictional Amin in the film, John Olima, was sent to Scotland by Amin in the late 1970s for a year to learn to play the bagpipes.

Robertson said: "That sort of detail and the man's memories really helped give us the colour and an insight into how obsessed Amin was about Scotland."

Giles Foden, who wrote the novel, The Last King of Scotland, reveals in the film that Amin enjoyed his connection with the Scots because of his political beliefs. Foden said: "By attaching himself to Scotland - and in particular the idea of an independent Scotland - he was able to keep a connection to the colonial power."

The film unveils footage of Amin discussing his love of the Scots and disdain of the English. Amin states: "If you go to Scotland you will talk to the people. They will welcome you to their house. With the English if they see a black man they see he is monkey or dog."

Idi Amin became president of Uganda in 1971. Once in power he proclaimed himself Conqueror of the British Empire. In 1974 he offered to be king of Scotland. By 1978 he had massacred 300,000 Ugandans, but in 1979 was deposed and fled to Saudi Arabia. He died in 2003.