Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni
President Obama has reportedly invited anti-gay Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to a summit in Washington, seemingly in contravention of his own government’s recent sanctions against the country.
According to New Vision, Museveni is one of the African leaders invited by Obama to the first ever American-African Summit that will take place in August.
Said Ugandan Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Mugume: “Yes we received an invitation and the President will be going to the US for the Summit.”
Last month, the White House announced that it would restrict entry to the US to Ugandans involved in human rights abuses, “including those determined to have committed such violations or abuses against LGBT individuals.”
Tellingly, the administration refused to identify the Ugandans affected by the sanctions.
It thus appears that the US does not consider Museveni’s signing of the oppressive Anti-Homosexuality Bill into law and his demonization of gays and lesbians as constituting human rights abuses.
New Vision suggests that the US move is in response to growing Chinese economic influence in Uganda. In February, Museveni also commented that he would prefer to work with Russia “because they don’t mix up their politics with other country’s politics.”
“Does Obama’s fear of [the] Chinese in Africa excuse him from his promise of sanctions for gays?” asked outraged US LGBT activist and blogger Melanie Nathan.
It’s also quite possible that Obama would have faced a boycott by other African leaders if he were to exclude Museveni from the summit.
In April, South Africa’s President Zuma pulled out of the European Union-Africa summit in Brussels, apparently because the EU refused a visa to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s wife. Zuma told the SABC that Europe shouldn’t dictate to Africans “who must come and who must not come” to such events.
Nathan warned that Museveni would face the wrath of American LGBT activists if he attends the Washington meeting.
“…if Mr. Museveni graces our shores, we will be there in force to welcome the man with a cordial set of handcuffs designed for citizen arrests,” she said.
“And lest we forget there shall be NO diplomatic immunity for war criminals. After all it was Museveni who declared war on the world’s gays. Let the battle begin!” Nathan added.