14 JULY

IDI AMIN GUEST OF HONOUR AT THE PALACE

14 July 1971 – Ruthless Ugandan dictator Idi Amin had lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. A brief from the Foreign Office declares that “General Amin has abandoned Obote’s radical pan-African policies for a more moderate and pro-Western policy.”  The following day after the Amin’s lunch with the Queen, the Daily Telegraph declared in an editorial that Amin was “a staunch friend of Britain.”

Amin had denationalised several of the eighty formerly British companies nationalized by Uganda’s previous president Milton Obote who had been regarded as a serious threat to Britain’s financial and economic interests. So the British were keen to back their new friend with military support, and during Amin’s visit to London, a £2 million contract was signed to supply 26 Saladin and six Saracen armoured personnel carriers.

Between 1971 and 1975 Idi Amin was to murder, according to the verdicts of different historians, between 200,000 and 500,000 Ugandans, including numerous incidents of forced disappearances, torture and extra-judicial executions.

BRITAIN BLOCKS CALLS FOR A CEASEFIRE AS ISRAEL INVADES LEBANON

14 July 2006 – At the UN Security Council British diplomats worked to block international calls for an immediate ceasefire as Israel continued its assault on Lebanon.  Russia, China and France had all made it clear that they considered Israel’s military response to Hezbollah’s capture of two Israeli soldiers disproportionate.  The thirty four day conflict, which started on 12 July, was to cost the lives of over one thousand Lebanese civilians and make approximately one million Lebanese homeless.

As Noam Chomsky commented the following month – “The US and Israel, and the West generally, have little objection to capture of soldiers, or even to the far more severe crime of kidnapping civilians (or of course to killing civilians). That had been Israeli practice in Lebanon for many years, and no one ever suggested that Israel should therefore be invaded and largely destroyed.”

SUSPECT INSURGENT HUNG DESPITE EVIDENCE HIS CONFESSION WAS EXTRACTED UNDER TORTURE

14 July 1953 – Kenyan national Ngungire Njora, aged twenty two and a suspect in the killing of two British settlers and their six year old son, was among five young men hung at Nairobi prison, despite the sentencing judge admitting that he had grave concerns regarding the obvious signs of physical violence on the prisoner’s body still showing three months after his alleged confession. (1)

FOOTNOTES

1. David Anderson (2006) “Histories of the Hanged: Britain’s Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire,” Phoenix, London p108-109.

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