21 June-2014: Uganda’s government has dismissed sanction placed on them by the US for their tough anti-gay laws and denied reports that the legislation had led to an increase in homophobic attacks.
“Ugandans know they are moving away from donor dependency,” government spokesman Ofwono Opondo told AFP Friday. “We cannot compel the Americans to give us their money. Ugandans must be ready and we are rightly doing so, paying our bills. We need to be frugal.”
National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden on Thursday said that specific Ugandan officials involved in “human rights abuses” — including against the gay community — will be barred entry to the US.
Sanctions include cancelling a military air exercise, imposing visa bans and freezing some aid.
The law signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February says “repeat offenders” to be jailed for life, criminalises the promotion of homosexuality and obliges Ugandans to denounce gays to the authorities.
Human Right Watch (HRW) said in a report that the law has contributed to an increase in “human rights violations” against the LGBT community in the country with people being arrested, evicted or losing their jobs and at least one transgender person being murdered.
“About the sanctions of Ugandan officials who allegedly intimidate lesbians and gay people, let them (Americans) not be cowards and come out and share the information of those involved, and the law take its course,” Opondo said.
US Secretary of State John Kerry has compared the Ugandan law to anti-Semitic legislation in Nazi Germany.
(Input source: This is Africa)