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Museveni welcomes former dictator's son

Taban Amin, a son of the former dictator of Uganda, Idi Amin, was received warmly by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday at his official residence in central Kampala, according to the presidential press office.

Amin returned to Uganda on Monday after years of self-imposed exile in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), where he is alleged to have occupied the derelict Ugandan embassy, closed after Uganda cut diplomatic relations with the DRC in 1998.

DRC President Joseph Kabila, the son of Laurent-Desire Kabila, his predecessor, deported Amin after receiving complaints from Ugandan officials who argued that the transitional government in Kinshasa should no longer protect Ugandan rebels.

Amin had reportedly been worrying Ugandan officials following reports that forces loyal to him, which were at one time allied with Kabila senior's armed forces against Rwandan- and Ugandan-backed rebels in eastern DRC, were regrouping in the Semliki valley along the border between the DRC and Uganda.

His expulsion from the DRC is a further sign of a thawing of relations between Kampala and Kinshasa, say observers. A Ugandan ambassador to the DRC is also expected to be named in the next few weeks, according to the state-owned daily, The New Vision.

Amin's father, who ruled Uganda between 1971 and 1979, presiding over a well-publicised era of brutality and economic meltdown, died on 16 August at a hospital in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, where he had been living under protection from the Saudi royal family for more than a decade.

The years of bloodshed and instability following the fall of Amin’s regime eventually culminated in the successful takeover of Museveni’s National Resistance Movement (NRM) in 1986. Since then, observers have pointed out that the NRM has avoided the cycle of retribution that characterised previous governments.

State House officials declined to comment on what role, if any, Taban Amin might play in Uganda’s future.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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