Obama trying to blackmail us – Uganda

2014-02-19 09:01

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kampala - Uganda on Tuesday dismissed US president Barack Obama's call for its leader Yoweri Museveni not to sign an anti-homosexuality law, saying the US was trying to blackmail the east African country.

On Sunday, two days after President Museveni said he would sign the law widely criticised abroad as harsh and unjust, Obama warned that would complicate United States relations with Uganda and be a "step backward for all Ugandans".

A senior Obama administration official said Washington - a major aid donor sending more than $400m a year - would review US relations with Uganda, a key regional ally in the fight against Islamic extremism in Somalia.

But Ethics and Integrity Minister Simon Lokodo said aid should not be tied to Uganda's stand on homosexuality.

"We don't like to blackmail others. It's very dishonest, very irresponsible and unfriendly of persons to attach behaviour of another community to their sharing resources," Lokodo told Reuters TV in Kampala.

Homosexuality is taboo in many African countries. It is illegal in 37 nations on the continent and activists say that few Africans gays dare to live their sexuality openly, fearing imprisonment, violence and loss of their jobs.

In one of those countries, Gambia, President Yahya Jammeh called homosexuals "vermin" on Tuesday and said his government would fight them like malaria-causing mosquitoes.

Right to marry Michelle

Museveni has not yet said when he plans to sign the law.

The anti-gay bill was introduced in 2009 and initially proposed a death sentence for homosexual acts, but was amended to prescribe jail terms including life in jail for what it called aggravated homosexuality.

That category includes gay sex with a minor, where the victim is infected with HIV and where the victim is vulnerable such as a disabled person.

Lokodo said that were he to meet Obama, he would tell him that he had made the right choice in marrying a woman.

"I would tell him point-blank that he chose the right direction and this direction was to marry Michelle," he said.

"They have produced children, why does he encourage and promote others, men and women of same sex, to live together and have no offspring like him?"

Obama, a Democrat who has lobbied to expand rights for gay Americans and supports same-sex marriage, and has urged African nations to end discrimination against homosexuals.

In a statement, UNAIDS, the United Nation's agency on HIV/Aids, also warned that the law would make more gay people shun HIV testing and treatment when faced with prosecution or jail.

Read more on:    yahya jammeh  |  barack obama  |  yoweri museveni  |  us  |  gambia  |  uganda  |  gay rights  |  east africa  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Amazing solar inventions!

Solar power is lighting up the world, and not just on rooftops anymore.



Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

There is a tendency to get too caught up in group dynamics and high expectations and ideals, that your own personal needs and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.