President Idi Amin of Uganda, reportedly alive and well after conflicting reports about his whereabouts, has denied that an attempt was made to assassinate him, Radio Uganda reported today.
The broadcast, monitored here, followed a report in a Kenyan newspaper that Amin personally led troops in a fierce eight-hour battle last Saturday to crush rebels who sought to overthrown him.
Radio Uganda also said Amin told a visiting group of black Americans that Ugandan exiles trained by "imperialists" had tried to infiltrate the country to create chaos. The exiles had been detected and either driven off or captured, the report said.
The Ugandan leader also told the group that President Carter's appointment of Andrew Young as ambassador to the United Nations was designed to show that Americans are not racists, the radio said.
Amin described Young as a "puppet diplomat" who has no power to talk about American policy in Africa.
Amin reportedly said he was grateful to Carter for appointing a black American to the U.N. post for the first time. He was not against Americans, and prayed to God to bless them and the United States, the radio added.
Amin was quoted as calling on Macks in the United States to unite, and to consider themselves as brothers and sisters, but he urged them not to work for the "imperialists."
The broadcast quoted Amin in an interview with Audrey June Taylor, a reporter for radio station WWRL in New York. She and the other Americans, none of whom was identified, are reportedly in Uganda on a tour at the invitation of Ugandan government officials.
It was a radio report late Tuesday by Taylor, who said she had interviewed Amin by telephone, that was the first firm indication that the dictator was alive after several days of speculation or wounded in an attempted coup.
Amin played the accordian for the group yesterday on an island in Lake Victoria, according to the radio, which said he was honeymooning with his second wife, Sarah.
The Kenyan newspaper report on [WORD ILLEGIBLE] alleged plot quoted a Ugandan [WORD ILLEGIBLE] who had fled to Kenya as saying the plot had been in preparation for a year and involved nearly a thousand Ugandans.
The newspaper, The Daily Nation, quoted the major as saying the plotters had been betrayed and surprised by forces led by Amin three hours before they planned to take action.
The plotters had run out of ammunition in the ensuing battle and had been forced to flee, the paper said.
The Daily Nation quoted a "military contact" in Kampala as saying five Soviet-supplied Mig jets were blown up at Entebbe air base on President Amin's orders in an assault launched after he had learned that air force personnel were responsible for an attack on his motorcade last Saturday.
Shooting continued until Monday, and at least 50 air force officers were killed, the paper said:
It quoted the Ugandan major - who refused to be named or photographed - as saying: "Our main aim was to collect as many weapons and as much ammunition as possible, and then attack strategic points, including air force facilities, Parliament buildings, President Amin's command post and others."
He went on: "The coup was planned to take place on June 18. We were shocked when Amin's well-equipped marines and specialized mechanized reconnaissance battalion launched a surprise attack on us at 10 a.m. There was an eight-hour exchange of fire in which many soldiers from both sides were killed."
Uganda Radio quoted Amin as saying that those arrested would be tried according to Uganda's laws.
The radio said he also denied that any Ugandan troops had defeated. He told the Americans that reports of Ugandan soldiers' fleeting to Kenya were the work of Zionists and imperialists.