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Museveni Criticizes US Following Uganda’s Removal from AGOA Over LGBT Rights Stance

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Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni, has conveyed a nonchalant response to the exclusion of his country from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), a specialized trade program facilitated by the US.

US President Joe Biden announced the removal of Uganda and three other African nations from the AGOA, citing Uganda’s alleged “gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

However, Museveni criticized the US, accusing them of overestimating their influence and wrongly assuming that African nations are reliant on their support for progress.

Speaking out, Museveni asserted, “As far as Uganda is concerned, we have the capacity to achieve our growth and transformation targets, even if some of the actors do not support us.”

The recent expulsion from AGOA is the latest in a series of actions taken against Uganda. Earlier, the country had faced international scrutiny after passing a contentious anti-homosexuality law, which prompted the World Bank to withdraw its funding. Museveni defended this law, accusing the organization of attempting to coerce Uganda into reversing it. Despite these pressures, Museveni affirmed Uganda’s ability to advance without external support.

Acknowledging the American government’s continued funding for HIV drugs, Museveni expressed confidence in Uganda’s contingency plan to secure the drugs independently if external donors withdraw their support.

Museveni also denounced external pressures and perceived disrespect towards African nations, highlighting the disparate treatment in targeting Uganda for its anti-homosexuality law while not pressuring other countries with similar legislation.

Reflecting on history, Museveni referenced the unity and liberation struggles of African countries, asserting that Africa has the capacity to succeed if its resources are utilized effectively.

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Museveni signed off, emphasizing Uganda’s resilience under the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and highlighting that not all foreign actors exhibit an arrogant attitude toward the country’s sovereignty.

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