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Museveni scoffs at EU’s sanctions threats

President Museveni (Courtesy Photo)

President Museveni scoffed at European Union (EU) Parliament’s recommended sanctions against Ugandans and organisations that are suspected to be responsible for human rights violations during the recent general election.

The development is the latest in the fallout between the West and the Uganda government that has seen President Museveni and a number of his senior officials castigating unnamed Western powers over what they call interference in the affairs of Uganda.

However, in a televised address about Uganda’s security following several reports of alleged kidnappings, Mr Museveni, 76, said some foreigners have always been wrong about Uganda and his leadership.

“I want to comment on excitement caused by some foreigners trying to interfere in our affairs. I read in the newspapers about the EU Parliament sanctioning some Ugandans from traveling. For anybody to think that Africans are dying to go to Europe is something that shows lack of seriousness. Well, personally I need a lot of persuasion to leave Uganda. Why would I want to leave Uganda? I normally do it for friendship,” Mr Museveni who assumed power as a rebel leader in 1986 said.

Accusing former president Idi Amin of killing many nationals and being a ‘foreigners’ favorite, he told Ugandans: “When Idi Amin made a coup (1971); he was supported by foreigners but for us straight away after he had announced his coup, we decided to fight him because he couldn’t understand our Pan-African aims.

We need state-power to solve problems of Africa not just positions. Ignore foreigners.”
Holding grip on NRM party ideologies, Mr Museveni slammed foreigners saying, “If we had listened to them, we would have made mistakes. Foreigners can lead to a lot of proplems.

In a letter dated January 2, that was leaked recently, it emerged that President Museveni who was declared winner of the January 14 elections with 58 percent of the votes cast, instructed the Ministry of Finance to suspend the activities of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), a basket fund of European countries that bankrolls most Ugandan civil society organisations that work on governance, rights and related themes.

The EU Parliament, in its statement issued on Thursday, resolved that “…sanctions against individuals and organisations responsible for human rights violations in Uganda must be adopted at EU level under the new EU (European Union) human rights sanction mechanism, the so-called EU Magnitsky Act”.

The resolution was endorsed by 632 votes, with only 15 against and 48 abstentions.
The resolution was based on human rights violations that happened during the recently concluded general elections.

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