United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has announced sanctions against current and former Ugandan officials who committed human rights abuses against opposition leaders and other groups including homosexuals.
“After Uganda’s flawed 2021 presidential elections, I announced a visa restriction policy targeting those believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda,” said Blinken in a statement.
“At that time, I implored the government of Uganda to significantly improve its record and hold accountable those responsible for flawed electoral processes, violence and intimidation.”
However, this website has learnt that most of those on sanction list are security chiefs and commanders of different units whose role during and after the 2021 general elections were questionable. Sources further revealed that the list includes the leadership of parliament and key members of the August House who participated in the enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act.
Blinken announced “the expansion of the visa restriction policy to include current or former Ugandan officials or others who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda or for policies or actions aimed at repressing members of marginalized or vulnerable populations.”
“These groups include, but are not limited to, environmental activists, human rights defenders, journalists, LGBTQI+ persons and civil society organizers,” he said.
He added that the immediate family members of such persons may also be subject to these restrictions.”
Blinken further noted that the U.S stands by the Ugandan people and remains committed to working together to advance democracy, human rights, public health and mutual prosperity.
“I once again strongly encourage the government of Uganda to make concerted efforts to uphold democracy and to respect and protect human rights so that we may sustain the decades-long partnership between our countries that has benefited Americans and Ugandans alike,” he said.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on May 29 signed the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which contains a death penalty provision for “aggravated homosexuality.” The State Department a few weeks later announced visa restrictions against unnamed Ugandan officials.