Kampala, Uganda: On Monday, Uganda’s president signed a law imposing harsh penalties for homosexuality. The new bill strengthened existing punishments for anyone caught having gay sex, imposing jail terms of up to life for “aggravated homosexuality” – including sex with a minor or while HIV-positive.
President Yoweri Museveni said, “There’s now an attempt at social imperialism, to impose social values. We’re sorry to see that you (the West) live the way you live but we keep quiet about it,” he said.
Last week, Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh had called homosexuals “vermin”.
Norway, Denmark, and Austria have said they are reviewing assistance to Uganda after the controversial law was signed.
“Disapproval of homosexuality by some can never justify violating the fundamental human rights of others,” U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a statement.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said it was a “tragic day for Uganda and for all who care about the cause of human rights,” and that this “complicates a valued relationship.”
But experts say west will not be harsh on Uganda as it is a key Western ally in the fight against Islamic extremism in Somalia; also it is touted to be new destination for petroleum, which will make the country less dependent on Western aid.