News / Africa

Uganda Accuses US of Blackmail over Anti-Gay Law

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-homosexual bill into law at the state house in Entebbe, 36 km (22 miles) south west of capital Kampala February 24, 2014. Museveni signed into law on Monday an anti-gay bill that toughens already strict legisUganda President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-homosexual bill into law at the state house in Entebbe, 36 km (22 miles) south west of capital Kampala February 24, 2014. Museveni signed into law on Monday an anti-gay bill that toughens already strict legis
x
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-homosexual bill into law at the state house in Entebbe, 36 km (22 miles) south west of capital Kampala February 24, 2014. Museveni signed into law on Monday an anti-gay bill that toughens already strict legis
Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-homosexual bill into law at the state house in Entebbe, 36 km (22 miles) south west of capital Kampala February 24, 2014. Museveni signed into law on Monday an anti-gay bill that toughens already strict legis
James Butty
A spokesman for the Ugandan government says his country will not be blackmailed into changing its anti-homosexual law.

Ofwono Opondo said Uganda is a sovereign country with an independent parliament and it should be allowed to make laws that are in the interest of its citizens.

This comes after the United States Thursday announced it would impose sanctions on Uganda for its anti-gay law.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said Ugandan officials involved in human rights abuses, including against the gay community will be denied entry into the United States.

The US also cancels a scheduled military exercise with Uganda.

Signed by President Yoweri Museveni earlier this year, the anti-gay law says “repeat homosexuals” should be jailed for life. It also makes it illegal to promote homosexuality in Uganda.

Government spokesman Opondo said Uganda’s constitution does not recognize homosexuality as a human rights issue.
 
“Uganda cannot compel the United States to give us their money. We shall make do with the resources that we have. Uganda is a sovereign country; our parliament is a sovereign parliament and we should be allowed to make laws and make decisions that we think are in our interest,” he said.
 
Opondo said it was inappropriate for the US to first announce the sanctions in the media without first formally notifying the government of Uganda.
 
He said imposing sanctions on Uganda does not help protect what he calls the so-called human rights that the United States is seeking to protect.
 
“We have stated before that homosexuality is not a fundamental human rights in our own constitution,” Opondo said.
 
Opondo said even if homosexuality were protected under Ugandan law and the government was violating such right, there are democratic and legitimate platforms through which the United States government can engage the Ugandan government.
 
“They can engage the government of Uganda through the diplomatic channel and through the parliament of Uganda by requesting why the law should be repealed; they can support groups to challenge this law through our judicial system. We have a judicial system that can handle any issue, but we reject the blackmail by the United States government,” Opondo said.
 
He said if the US government believes in the rule of law, then it should be able to use the Ugandan parliamentary platform or its judicial system to challenge the anti-gay law.
 
Opondo said the anti-gay law is popular with Ugandans, and he challenged the US government to sponsor a referendum to test whether the US position is correct or not.
 
Uganda is one of about 50 African countries that are expected to attend the US-Africa summit to be hosted by President Barack Obama in August.
 
Some Africa analysts and human rights defenders say President Obama should exclude Uganda from the summit because of the country’s anti-gay law.
 
Opondo said Uganda believes continued engagement is much better than “blackmail”.
 
“We think there is no reason why the president of Uganda should not be able to attend. The United States government should use that summit to engage the president of Uganda through diplomatic channels rather than blackmail. Preventing President Museveni from attending the summit does not in any way cancel the validity of the law passed by the Ugandan parliament,” he said.
Butty interview with Opondo
Butty interview with Opondoi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid