After Idi Amin’s removal, the Uganda National Liberation Front formed an interim government with Yusuf Lule as president and Jeremiah Lucas Opira as the Secretary General of the UNLF and created a quasi-parliamentary organ known as the National Consultative Commission (NCC). The NCC and the Lule cabinet reflected widely differing political views. In June 1979, following a dispute over the extent of presidential powers, the NCC replaced Lule with Godfrey Binaisa. In a continuing dispute over the powers of the interim presidency, Binaisa was removed in May 1980. Thereafter, Uganda was ruled by a military commission chaired by Paulo Muwanga.
Uganda`s 2nd Elections: 1980
The elections in 1980 were won by Obote’s Uganda People’s Congress (UPC) party. However, the UPC’s opposition believed that the elections were rigged, which led to a guerrilla war by Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Army (NRA) and several other military groups.
In 1983, the Obote government launched Operation Bonanza, a military expedition that claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced a significant portion of the population. The brunt of the blame for this massacre was placed on the people of northern Uganda for supporting the action of the Prime Minister which increased the existing regional tensions in the country. It has been estimated that approximately 100,000 to 500,000 people died as a result of fighting between Obote’s Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) and the guerrillas.
On 27 July 1985, Dr. Obote was deposed again. As in 1971, he was overthrown by his own army commanders in a military coup d’état; this time the commanders were Brigadier Bazilio Olara-Okello and General Tito Okello. The two men briefly ruled the country through a Military Council, but after a few months of near chaos, Museveni’s NRA seized control of the country. By July 1985, Amnesty International estimated that the Obote regime had been responsible for more than 300,000 civilian deaths across Uganda. Abuses were particularly conspicuous in an area of central Uganda known as the Luweero Triangle.
After his second removal from power, Obote fled to Kenya and later to Zambia. In August 2005, however, Obote announced his intention to step down as leader of the UPC and on 10 October 2005, Dr. Milton Obote died of kidney failure in a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. Milton Obote was given a state funeral, attended by President Museveni, in the Ugandan capital Kampala in October 2005, to the surprise and appreciation of many Ugandans because he and Museveni had been bitter rivals. He was survived by his wife and five children. On 28 November 2005, his wife Miria Obote was elected UPC party president