US imposes visa restrictions on Ugandan officials

President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, U.S. [File, Reuters]

The United States government has imposed visa restrictions on some Ugandan officials believed to be responsible for undermining the democratic process in the country.

In a statement on Friday, June 16, the U.S. Department of State, said that the action was undertaken as a response to human rights abuse by some Ugandan officials.

“In response to human rights abuses and corruption in Uganda, the Department of State announces that it is taking steps to impose visa restrictions under Section 212 (a) (3) (C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on Ugandan individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda,” the official spokesperson Matthew Miller said.

The statement follows the decision by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni to enact the Anti-Homosexuality Act into law in May, which prescribed life imprisonment or the death penalty to anyone convicted of homosexuality.

“As directed by President Biden, the U.S. government will continue to evaluate additional actions under this policy, as well as the use of other tools at our disposal, to promote accountability for Ugandan officials and other individuals responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Uganda, abusing human rights, including those of LGBTQI+ persons, or engaging in corrupt practices,” read part the statement.

Despite warnings from U.S President Joe Biden that his government will withdraw its support to the country, Museveni said he will not repeal it and that he is ready to face anyone who wants to challenge the decision.

On Tuesday this week, the U.S government warned American citizens planning to travel to the East African country to reconsider travel, saying the legislation of the anti-gay bill poses many risks including the death penalty.

Additionally, those who are currently in the country were asked to keep a low profile and be aware of their surroundings.