Uganda and Tanzania both have armies relatively equal in size and similar amounts of Communist supplied military hardware.
Uganda, which has relied almost exclusively on Soviet-supplied military hardware, has a standing army of 20,000 soldiers, 30-odd Soviet Mig jet fighters and 35 medium-sized tanks of the Soviet T-model series.
Tanzania, which until recently received the bulk of its military hardware from Peking, has a standing army of 17,000 men backed up by 33 Chinese-built Mig fighters. The Tanzanians earlier this year reportedly received from the Soviets 24 Mig fighters and an unknown number of SAM missiles to protect the country's capital, Dar es Salaam.
Uganda's president Idi Amin came to power in 1971 in a military coup against former president Milton Obcte, nine years after the country's independence from Great Britain.
Tanzania's President Julius Nyerere, the country's leader since it gained independence from Britain in 1961, is widely respected as one of Africa's senior statesmen and is a leader of the five front-line African states that are assisting nationalist Rhodesian guerillas fighting for black majority rule in that former British colony.
Amin, by contrast, has been frequently criticized throughout the world for massive human rights violations in which hundreds of thousands of people have been tortuned or killed.
Uganda is a country of 12 million people living in an area of 91,076 square miles, almost the size of Oregon. Its four major tribal groups are mainly small-scale farmers and cattleherders. The largest tribe, the more than one million Baganda, live around the capital of Kampala.
About 500 Europeans and 200 Americans, mostly missionaries, still reside in the country, but tens of thousands of Asians have been expelled. The United States broke diplomatic relations with Uganda in 1973.
Tanzania, which includes the island of Zanzibar, has 15 million people in an area of 364,500 square miles, slightly smaller than New Mexico and Texas combined. There are 130 ethnic groups with only one, the Sukuma tribe, exceeding one million people. Almost 90 percent of the population are farmers.