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Former Ugandan President Milton Obote Dies

Former Ugandan president Milton Obote has died at the age of 81.

His death was announced Monday by officials in Uganda and later confirmed by Mr. Obote's son Ben Obote to the French news agency, AFP.

Henry Mayega, an official with Obote's Ugandan People's Congress Party (UPC), says the former leader died at a hospital in South Africa where he'd been receiving treatment after suffering a series of strokes.

The exact cause of death remains unknown.

Mr. Milton Obote served as the Uganda's first prime minister following the country's independence in 1962.

In 1966, he staged a coup against King Mutesa the second and declared himself president. But Mr. Obote lost favor with the Ugandan people following his decision to disband the country's traditional monarchies and institute a socialist system.

In 1971, while attending a meeting in Singapore, Obote was deposed in a coup led by Idi Amin.

Following nine years of exile in Tanzania, Mr. Obote was reinstated as president in a disputed election. Between 1980 - 1985 current President Yoweri Museveni fought a civil war against Mr. Obote's government. The period was known for brutal repression and mass executions of civilians, and an estimated 500,000 Ugandans died.

In 1985, Mr. Obote was again ousted and exiled to Zambia, where he remained until his death.

Some information for this report provided by AFP, Reuters.