Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda has responded to the European Union (EU) following the approval of sanctions to be imposed on the East African country as a result of what the EU referred to as human right violations.
In a resolution held on Thursday and endorsed by 632 votes, 15 against with 48 abstentions, the EU moved to impose travel, financial and other sanctions on some individuals and organizations which were involved in various degrees of violations during the just ended elections.
“Parliament reiterates that sanctions against individuals and organisations responsible for human rights violations in Uganda must be adopted under the new EU human rights sanction mechanism, the so-called EU Magnitsky Act” the text says.
Aside the sanctions, the EU also called on the government to immediately and unconditionally release or drop all charges against those arrested and detained for participating in peaceful political assemblies or exercising their right to freedom of expression and association.
However, the man at the center of these occurrences, Yoweri Museveni, seem unperturbed by the proposed sanctions. According to The Daily Monitor Newspaper, a lead Ugandan local media outlet, the President called bluffs on the EU’s decision.
“I read in the newspapers about the European Union (EU) Parliament sanctioning some Ugandans from traveling. For anybody to think that Africans are dying to go to Europe is something that shows lack of seriousness,” President Museven was quoted by the Daily Monitor.
The surrounding issues of the January 14th elections in Uganda has been described by many recognized organizations and individuals as undemocratic with the election results largely considered rigged. Security agencies subjected civilians to brutish treatments with the main opposition leader, Bobi wine and his supporters being the main victims. Deaths and grievous injuries were recorded whilst restrictions were placed on means of communication across the country, including internet shutdown.
The European Union made a call on the Ugandan authorities to ensure secure and unrestricted internet access for all, including social media and online messaging platforms. The body says, refusal to do so “constitutes a serious obstacle to freedom of information, including media freedom.” Additionally, the EU appealed to the government to make sure victims of the electoral violence receive justice.