September 17, 2015: Ugandan dictator Idi Amin embarked upon a campaign of racial cleansing, expelling people of Asian descent, including third-generation Uganda Asians whose ancestors had lived there for more than 100 years. They were given 90 days to leave, leaving businesses, homes and vehicles. They had been stripped of their citizenship and possessions, hounded out of their homes and their businesses. Bank accounts were frozen, making them not only stateless but also bankrupt. Even as they trooped to the Entebbe International Airport, Amin’s soldiers robbed them along the way.
Approximately, 80,000 Asians became stateless and homeless, sparking the largest Asian exodus in African history and creating an international crisis. The Ugandan exodus was not as tragic and as staggering in numbers, but the migrant catastrophe currently confronting Europe brings back similar painful memories of statelessness, alienation and dislocation.