Even by the bloodstained standards of 20th century dictatorships, Idi Amin's eight-year reign of terror in Uganda stands apart.

His killer squads-clearly identifiable by their weakness for platform shoes and undersized bowler hats-often left a tell-table mark when they seized a victim, leaving only his shoes behind to signal his fate.

Multiple chest wounds and strangulation were also a king of signature, as were hands tied behind a victim's back or an insistence that corpses be left unburied as a warning.

Sledgehammers were often used to kill victims, and fellow prisoners sometimes were forced to do the killing.

Sister Mary Nives Kizito gave a graphic description of just how bad the conditions were for those who escaped death in prison. The day after Tanzanian forces captured Kampala earlier this month she visited the dreaded state Research Bureau Headquarters where unknown numbers of prisoners were held.

The prisoners "were reduced to skeletons and had had to drink their own urine," she said. "They said they had never been fed."

"Some of the prisoners said they had eaten the flesh of their recently dead comrades to stay alive themselves," she added.

Odongo Okino was luckier-he lived to tell about his imprisonment. Picked up just a little more than a month after Amin seized power in January 1971, Okino never learned why he was arrested or released 115 days later.

While imprisoned in Makindye military police barracks he said he witnessed the killings of 35 army officers of the Acholi and Langi tribes suspected of disloyalty to Amin.

"They herded themselves into a corner of the cell when the guards opened fire. Those who survived were cut to pieces with machetes," the acccountant recalled.

The guards enjoyed the killings, and especially delighted in bayoneting prisoners from top to bottom," he said." They would cut you open like a fish."