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Ugandan MPs Condemn EU Resolution on Anti-Homosexuality Law


Ugandan MPs Condemn EU Resolution on Anti-Homosexuality Law

Ugandan Members of Parliament attending the ACP-EU assembly in Brussels, Belgium, have strongly criticized what they perceive as meddling and hybrid threats by Western powers towards developing countries.

During his address to the assembly on Tuesday, Samuel Opio, MP for Kole North, denounced the recent European Parliamentary resolution concerning Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Law, describing it as an assault on the country’s sovereignty. He stressed the need to put an end to such threats.

Opio argued that these acts of blackmail by Western nations aim to undermine the sovereignty of developing states and called on fellow legislators to reject them.

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola recently condemned Uganda’s adoption of an anti-LGBTQ+ law, expressing concern over its impact on human rights in the country.

In response, the United States threatened to cut aid, impose sanctions, and enforce visa restrictions on certain Ugandan officials. The EU’s foreign policy Chief, Josep Borrell, stated that the bloc “regrets” the bill’s enactment and acknowledged its potential impact on international partnerships.

The Ugandan MPs have branded the Western response as blackmail and have urged the ACP-EU Assembly to join them in denouncing these threats.

“Sanctions that undermine the sovereignty and are presented as unconstitutional Western cultural preconditions for trade, disguised as human rights, constitute hybrid threats. We call upon the ACP-EU assembly to recognize them as such and demand the withdrawal of this resolution, Opio stated”

“By condemning the Ugandan parliament for passing the anti-homosexuality bill and calling for sanctions against the 389 MPs and religious leaders involved, the EU parliament is engaging in the form of hybrid threat that undermines a country’s sovereignty and the democratic will of its people, who elected these MPs as their representatives. An attack on Ugandan MPs is, therefore, an attack on the Ugandan people themselves! We commend the 62 European parliament MPs who voted against this resolution,” added Opio.

The EU Parliamentary resolution suggested that the EU Commission consider withdrawing the Everything but Arms (EBA) preference schemes, which would reintroduce tariffs and quotas on Ugandan goods exported to the EU, limiting market access.

The resolution also proposed that countries decriminalize homosexuality as a precondition to qualify for tariff waivers.

Opio criticized this move, stating, “Isn’t this another form of hybrid threat in the guise of economic pressure, economic blackmail intended to cause economic collapse? African values are not for sale, at any price!”

He further condemned the resolution’s call for financial support to grassroots LGBTIQ organizations in countries where homosexuality is criminalized and the establishment of an EU fund to aid these organizations in challenging these laws.

The legislator also called on Western countries to cease sponsoring non-state actors that destabilize African communities.

Dickson Kateshumbwa, MP for Sheema Municipality, highlighted the misalignment of trade policy priorities between the African Union and the European Union, despite the EU being Africa’s largest trading partner, accounting for approximately 26% of all imports.

Kateshumbwa noted that African exports primarily consist of raw materials, such as oil and minerals, leaving African economies vulnerable to global price shocks.

“Our reliance on exporting raw materials results in the continuous loss of jobs from Africa to Europe. There is no shared prosperity,” he lamented. Kateshumbwa argued that the European Union’s political non-tariff barriers, which include unspecified human rights and environmental due diligence requirements, discourage European companies from making significant investments in value-added sectors, particularly in African agriculture.

“Unless we dismantle these barriers, the preferential trading arrangements currently in place are meaningless. We have many Europeans residing in Uganda and Africa, enjoying our pineapples and avocados without falling ill or requiring vaccinations. However, these same products face extensive requirements when accessing the EU market, often being considered unsafe,” Kateshumbwa stated.

He urged the ACP-EU assembly to broaden the concept of human rights to encompass economic rights, fair value, and fair trade.

“The EU must support Africa in adding value and industrializing; only then can we address our people’s social needs and achieve shared prosperity. Human rights without improved economic well-being are an incomplete narrative. Our partnership should result in shared prosperity between the EU and OACPS.”

Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a Multimedia journalist (Broadcast & Writing) with 11 years of experience. She holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute and a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News. She completed a Course in Wikimedia in 2020, making her one of the very few Wikipedia Editors in the country. She also has a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation, IWMF. She has worked with a number of media houses including 6 Radio stations, most recently Galaxy fm 100.2 & Radio 4. She has worked with Andariya Magazine as a writer. Sarah worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the newly revived Uganda Airlines and is also a Digital enthusiast. She owns a Media Organization called TheUgPost that publishes in Uganda and has a global reach. Twitter;

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