Accessibility links

Breaking News

Uganda to Hold State Funeral for Former President Milton Obote

Uganda says it will hold a state funeral for the country's first prime minister and two-time president Milton Obote, who died in a South African hospital Monday at age 81.

The country's information minister James Nsaba Buturo says the decision was made at a cabinet meeting chaired by President Yoweri Museveni. A cabinet statement said the state funeral is considered an appropriate way for the government to repeat its commitment to national reconciliation, given Uganda's turbulent history.

Mr. Obote is revered by many Ugandans for leading the country to independence in 1962, after which he served as its first prime minister. But he also is reviled by those who hold him responsible for the deaths of some 500,000 Ugandans in a civil war from 1980 to 1985.

Mr. Obote was Uganda's president during the war. He was ousted from power in 1985 and spent the rest of his life in Zambia.

Some information for this report provided by AP.