Secret papers reveal Idi Amin Gleneagles fears
DECLASSIFIED documents have revealed detailed military plans had been drawn up following fears that Ugandan dictator Idi Amin would storm a diplomatic meeting of world leaders at Gleneagles.
The African dictator, dubbed ‘The Last King of Scotland’, murdered more than 500,000 people during his reign as military leader of Uganda from 1971 to 1979.
It was feared by British security officials that Amin would storm a Commonwealth conference at Gleneagles in Perthshire in 1977 accompanied by a small army of bodyguards.
Scottish Office papers, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show that the intelligence was taken seriously and that contingency plans had been put in place.
They state: “We have covered the main ground about the extent of the contingency planning being arranged in Whitehall against the possibility that President Amin would come.
“The Army representatives indicated that they thought they had sufficient numbers of infantry men available in Scotland in the event of any incident here.
“They would prefer to deploy the available resources in two companies, one in the West and the other in Edinburgh area.”
The papers also state that Amin could potentially land in the UK with 250 armed bodyguards and that all air and sea ports in Britain had been placed on high alert.
State media in Uganda had announced that Amin would fly into the UK following a stop off in Libya but in the end he changed his plans and the summit passed off without incident.
The Ugandan dictator was trained by the British Army in Stirling and served with the King’s African Rifles where his commanding officers were Scottish.
During his dictatorship he championed the cause of Scottish independence, wore a kilt and played the bagpipes.
Following the Uganda-Tanzania war he was forced into exile and died in Saudi Arabia in 2003.
His time as a dictator was turned into a film titled the ‘Last King of Scotland’ which also featured James McAvoy playing the fictional character of a young Scottish doctor who befriended Amin.
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