Idi Amin visited Iraq last week and asked for arms and assistance, but he is no longer there, according to Arab diplomatic sources.
"He went and he left - there was no question of staying," the sources said.
Amin is now assumed to be in Arua, Uganda, with stockpiles of ammunition, food, vehicles and fuel assembled over the last month. He was last seen two weeks ago leaving Kampala by car in the direction of Jinja.
Amin's Mystere executive jet was refueled at the airfield in Soroti in northeastern Uganda nine days ago. The jet, with a Libyan crew, took off for an unknown destination and it was never confirmed that the former self-styled life president was on board. With a full tank, the Mystere has sufficient range to reach Iraq
The Iraqi ambassador to Kampala was flown out of the city last week in a television crew's charter plane to Nairobi. Like other Arab diplomats in Kampala, he appeared extremely frightened, although unlike the Sudanese who had been roughed up, he had not been touched. Three Sudanese diplomats including the ambassador left the following day for Nairobi.
The logistics of flying in and out of Arua, if that is in fact what Amin has done, are simple. He could refuel in either Iraq or Libya for the flight in and he is known to have stockpiled huge quantities of aircraft fuel at Arua as well as everything else. The new Uganda government could not pick up his Mystere jet on radar.
The new government moved a step further today in normalizing its relations with the rest of the world when an American envoy, John Blane, the second man in the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, flew into Kampala with a team of aid and other experts.
The new Ugandan foreign ministers, Otema Alimadi, arrived in Kenya for two days' talks. He was met at the airport by the Kenyan foreign minister, Munyua Waiyaki, who said Kenya is willing to aid Uganda in any way possible.
The key to the arrival of the Uganda economy is the road through Kenya to the part of Mombasa.
The more delicate part of the Uganda-Kenyan talks will probably concern the possible extradition of Ugandans prominent under Amin who have fled to Kenya. The new justice minister, Dan Nabudere, has already begun to discuss this subject, officials sources said.
Bob Astles, Amin's British-born aide, already in a Kenyan prison, will undoubtedly be a key figure in the talks.