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September 09, 1977 - Image 29

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-09-09

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Book by Former Cabinet Member
- Details Atrocities, Reign of Terror
in Regime of Ugandan Idi Amin

NEW YORK—The barba-
rities of Uganda's Idi Amin
have achieved a singular po-
sition in the world press for
the extent of their horror
and cruelty. But for all
their headline-making abili-
ty, Amin's atrocities have
been reported with a min-
, num of hard facts and
_-witness information—
t he natural condition of a
nation in terror, where few
records are kept of crimes
committed on Amin's ver-
bal instructions and where
survival can depend on
seeing nothing.
Now, for the first time,
the story of Amin and his
brutal reign is being told,
with a mass of fact and de-
tail—much heretofore un-
published—that could only
have been accumulated by
a top-level, trusted insider.
To be published on Sept. 20
as an original paperback by
Ace Books and in a simulta-
neous hardcover edition by
Grosset & Dunlap, "A State
of Blood: The Inside Story
of Idi Amin" is the remark-
able account of Henry
Kyemba, a top Ugandan
cabinet minister for five


years until 110 dramatic es-
cape to England in late
May, and a man who has
known Amin for 20 years.
Kyemba's revelations run
the gamut from startling
new information on the mur-
der of Mrs. Dora Bloch, the
elderly British-Israeli hos-
tage who was left behind
after the Israeli commando
raid on Entebbe, to his per-
sonal views of the killing
last February of Anglican
&rchbishop Janan Luwuum
d two cabinet ministers,
the bizarre and bloody
pects of Amin's private
Among the revelations:
• Mrs. Bloch, who Amin
declared had been rescued'
by the Israelis, was drag-
ged screaming from a hospi-
tal bed by two of Amin's
most notorious thugs who
are specifically named by
Kyemba. Amin personally
told Kyemba that Mrs.
Bloch had been killed.
Kyemba goes on to record
the fact that many Ugan-
dans observed -the abduc-
tion and later saw the
corpse dumped by the side
of a road. Kyemba knows
where her body was buried.

Friday, September 9, 1977 29

A Happy, Healthy, Prosperous
To The Entire Community

Ugandan soldiers are shown beating businessmen who
have allegedly been overcharging for their products. Ob-
servers have remarked that incidents like this, not uncom-
mon, reflect the inability of Idi Amin's government to con-
trol prices by more conventional means.

• Following Amin's expla-
nation that Archbishop Lu-
wuum and two cabinet min-
isters had been killed in an
auto accident, Kyemba saw
their bullet-ridden bodies.
He personally witnessed the
elaborate attempt to frame
Luwuum. (It was this in-
cident that led Kyemba to
In all, Kyemba estimates
that a minimum of 150,000
people have been killed in
massacres that have taken
on all the aspects of a gen-
ocidal "final solution." The
book begins with a listing of
100 prominent victims who
were persorrally known to
him, including his own
brother. While the seem-
ingly random killings were
witnessed by Ugandans of
every station, Kyemba had
a singular vantage point:
as Minister of Health, the
hospitals and mortuaries
came under his jurisdiction.
Many of the bodies he saw
or read about in hospital re-
ports had been horribly
Kyemba, now 37, was
only a teenager when he
first met Amin, then a
smart, tough young soldier
who had won renown as
Uganda's heavyweight box-
ing champion. Later, Amin
made a fortune as a gun-
runner. He took over
Uganda in a 1971 coup.
Kyemba details the ex-
traordinary way Amin has
come to rule Uganda, his
talent for manipulating col-
leagues, his highly personal
style of using terror, his fi-
nancial naivete and the ruin
of Uganda's once thriving
economy. He reports on
Amin's gruesome personal
tastes—including his fond-
ness for witch doctors and
penchant for blood rituals
and cannibalism--and his
extraordinary appetite for
Revealing for the first
time the truth about Amin's
divorces—and the circum-
stances of Kay Amin's
(wife No. 2) hideous mur-
der—he offers numerous
anecdotes concerning
Amin's five wives and 30 or
40 mistresses, who have
born him some 34 children.
Kyemba comments on the
fact, largely unrecognized

abroad, that Amin's regime
is not only a minority one
but also largely foreign.
Amin's notorious State Re-
search Bureau and other
squads are
largely of Southern Suda-
nese mercenaries bribed
with easy money and lux-
ury goods to administer
Amin's reign of terror.
"Few people realize how
weak Amin's position really
is," says Kyemba, who
urges concerted inter-
national moral and econom-
ic sanctions against
Henry Kyemba dictated
his story in July in a five-
week transcribing and edit-
ing marathon in a closely
guarded Oxford apartment.

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"A State of Blood" contains
64 pages of photographs,
maps, an index, and an ap-,
pendix reprting the text
of the Archnhop's letter to
Amin that led to his mur-
Kyemba will visit the
United States the last two
weeks of September with
his wife Teresa (formerly
head nurse at Uganda's
largest hospital, Mulago).
He hopes to present his
book as testimony before
the United Nations, whose
opening session coincides
with pubdate on September

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