The Ugandan Asian Expulsion: Twenty Years After

Published: 1/Jan/1993
Source: Journal of Refugee Studies

The Ugandan Asian Expulsion: Twenty Years After
Mahmood Mamdani
J Refug Stud (1993) 6 (3): 265-273.
Published: 01 January 1993

Twenty years on, the expulsion of Ugandan Asians provides the writer, himself an expellee, with the opportunity to reflect on the issue of minority rights and majority aspirations. Eschewing simplistic representations of the expulsion in largely racial terms, the paper seeks to recast the episode in its historical context. The roots of relations between the African majority and the Asian minority are located in colonial and post-colonial indigenization policies that were themselves the response to pressures for democratization. The winners and losers of these policies among both the African and Asian populations are identified, a dispensation that paved the way for the expulsion by Amin. The theme of differentiation within the Asian minority is further developed, with the conclusion that the interests of a heterogeneous population have been misrepresented as narrowly those of a small wealthy minority seeking the restitution of their assets.

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Themes: Loss and Deprivation of Nationality
Regions: Uganda
Year: 1993