By Ebi Kesiena
In a recent development, Uganda’s government has strongly criticized the United States for extending visa restrictions on its officials.
The Ugandan authorities on Wednesday maintained that Washington is actively promoting what they term an “LGBT agenda” within the African continent.
According to the government, the visa restrictions specifically target unnamed officials deemed by the US as responsible for undermining democratic principles and suppressing marginalized groups in Uganda, including the LGBTQ community, is a clear indication of the LGBT agenda.
Expressing his concerns to the media, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Okello Oryem, , said “There’s a coup at the State Department in the U.S. It is being taken over by people who are pushing the LGBT agenda in Africa.”
Oryem questioned the US’s selective approach, asking why similar sanctions were not imposed on Middle Eastern countries with comparable or even more severe laws against the LGBT community.
“If they deny our MPs visas, they will (go) to Shanghai, Guangzhou. There are very many beautiful places to visit,” he said.
Uganda drew international attention in May by enacting one of the world’s most stringent anti-gay laws, imposing the death penalty for certain same-sex acts.
The implementation of Uganda’s anti-gay law in May has reportedly led to an increase in abuse against LGBTQ individuals, primarily perpetrated by private individuals, according to a report by rights groups in September.
This recent move by the United States follows an initial round of visa restrictions imposed on Ugandan officials in June, with the World Bank suspending new lending to the country in August as a response to the controversial law.