With the Commonwealth summit well underway in London and Amin definitely mot welcome, he chose to play his cards well, putting British security on tenterhooks, the Queen at theoretical risk, the UK Prime Minister jittery and the summit at risk of losing its agenda.
Part 1: When Amin put Britain under threat, wanted to fly to Queen’s Palace by force or sneak in by boat
Amin’s table was vacant at the conference, with a placard reading UGANDA, and his absence was so loud, that he was the subject of discussion led by the UK Prime Minister James Callaghan who had prior expressed disappointment that everyone around him was feeling frightened by Amin’s threats.
At this point meanwhile, the entire British security and air traffic controller was looking out for signs of Amin’s plane, with an aim of channelling it somewhere distant where they would engage Amin in a battle with the 300 men he had threatened to land with aboard the plane.
Alas, Amin was nowhere to be seen, contact was made with air controllers in Nairobi who said had not heard of Amin’s exit from Uganda but added he could have left with the plane in radio silence!
Later, the radio signals located the plane outside Uganda, further putting Britain under threat. However, Radio Uganda reported that Amin had reached Libya for a stopover before proceeding with his journey to France where he would sail by boat towards the UK.
The UK responded by putting Ireland on alert and announced that Amin was not welcome under any circumstances.
In his journey plan meanwhile, Amin was apparently meant to reach Ireland and then proceed by road into London.
Amin’s theatrics coincided with the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations and it was not long until Radio Uganda announced he had reached London.
Alas, he was not there, but British security had wasted days of importance, watching out for all roads that would deliver Amin, the commonwealth summit had discussed Amin at all intervals, and he (Amin) remained with an ego satisfied, he was indeed the conqueror of the British empire.