Ugandan President Idi Amin received much of his early military training and support from Israel, but his chief backer and bankroller now appears to be Liby's ruler, Muammar Qaddafi.
Aminas strong alliance with Gaddafi and his stepped up harassment and violence directed at the country's Christian majority have convinced Ugandan Christian leaders now in Nairobi that Amin intends to turn Uganda into a Moslem state.
While Qaddafi has assited Amin in the name of Moslem brotherhood, the Ugandan dictator has become an acute embarrassment to Moslems in Kenya and Tanzania, which border Uganda. "We don't consider him a true believer," said an executive of the Supreme Council of Moslems of Kenya recently.
African attention is now focusing on Amin's Arab patrons, who are thought to be the only ones who could persuade the Ugandian dictator to end his massacres and brutality. But Naim Kaddah, the Arab League's representative in Nairobi, said, "We don't concern ourselves with a country's internal affairs," and he added that the Arab world will continue giving assistance to Uganda," which is struggling together with us, against a common enemy - colonialism."
Commenting on the powerful armed force Uganda has built up, partially with the assistance of Arab nations, Kaddah said, "Uganda is not far from the racist states of Rhodesia and South Africa and therefore has to arm itself."
Actually, Uganda has never used its arsenal against any foreign country except briefly against, neighboring Tanzania. In 1972, when Ugandan exlies invaded their homeland from Tanzania, it was reported that Amin's air force bombed a Tanzanian hospital and village on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Amia is reportedly massacring Christian Lango and Acholl tribesmen and has silenced the Christian church in Uganda, which earlier this month condemned the persecution and murder of Christians, who form just over 50 per cent of the population.
Amin's rhetoric is so anti-Zionist that he outdoes many of the Arabs who support him. He blamed the latest alleged coup - which led to the arrest and death of Anglican Archbishop Janani Luwum - on Israeli intelligence.
It was not always that way.
Israel, which had military advisers in Uganda when Amin deposed President Milton Obote in 1971, has always denied playing any role in the coup. For the first year of his rule, however, Amin relied heavily on Israeli backing and largesse.
Then in 1972, hoping to create an African superpower, Amin flew to Israel in the personal jet the Israelis had given him. But his old friends were unable to meet his exorbitant requests for military hardware and neither were the British, to whom he turned next. So he returned home empty-handed - and angry at Israel and Britain.
Qaddafi then promised Amin the military and economic assistance he clamored for and in return Amin adopted a line that was perhaps even more anti-Israel than was Qaddafi's.
Since then cash from Libya and other Arab countries, most notably Saudi Arabia, has kept Uganda's mismanaged vestige, of a once-prosperous economy from total collapse.
Last year Kenyan-based oil companies stopped Uganda's fuel shipments after Uganda was unable to pay its bill in hard currency. The fuel mysteriously began running again and diplomatic sources in Nairobi are convinced that Libya is now paying to keep Uganda's engines turning.
Libya has helped Uganda pay for a vast armory of Soviet-made jet fighters and tanks. In return, Amin, a Moslem, has attempted to turn Uganda toward Islam by encouraging religios conversion and off wing incentives. Moslems are much better off than non-Moslems and are disproportionately represented in the army and the civil service. They account for no more than 20 per cent of Uganda's population and Christian sources claim 5 per cent is more accurate.
After Amin alleged this week that Tanzania was preparing to attack his country, Radio Uganda announced the Libya had put its [WORDS ILLEGIBLE]
Libya also has helped [WORD ILLEGIBLE] what has become a large Palestine presence - at least several hundred in Uganda.
They serve as pilots and military advisers as well as aides to Amin.
The Palestine Liberation Organization has an office in Kampais.
Kenya's Mesiems feel that Qaddafi has backed Amin for so long that it would be difficult for him to stop now. Western diplomatic sources believe that Qaddafi wants to keep his hold on Uganda to provide a southern flank should a war break out wiht Sudan, which borders them both.
A well-placed Kenyan Moslem said there is speculation that Tanzania may ask Algeria to raise the matter of Uganda with Libya and a Kenyan diplomat said he expects the question to come up at the Afro-Arab summit in Cairo next month.