President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has voiced criticism against the World Bank’s decision to suspend loans as a means to pressure his government to reconsider the recently passed anti-LGBTQ bill.
Earlier this week, the World Bank announced its decision to halt new loans to Uganda, citing concerns over the country’s legislation that is regarded as one of the world’s strictest laws targeting LGBTQ communities.
The global lender, based in the United States, stated that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act contradicts the institution’s core values. This legislative move by Uganda has raised serious human rights concerns globally.
However, President Museveni, who signed the anti-LGBTQ measures into law in May, expressed his country’s determination to progress with or without loans. He criticized the World Bank’s approach of attempting to influence Uganda’s stance on the matter using financial pressure.
Museveni remarked, “It is therefore unfortunate that the World Bank and other actors dare to want to coerce us into abandoning our faith, culture, principles and sovereignty, using money. We do not need pressure from anybody to know how to solve problems in our society.”
Despite his strong words, Museveni acknowledged ongoing discussions between Uganda and the World Bank, aiming to find common ground and avoid further escalation.
In response to the newly passed law, various entities including the United Nations, foreign governments (including the United States), and global human rights organizations have condemned Uganda’s legislation. The law, which includes provisions that categorize “aggravated homosexuality” as a capital offense and impose life imprisonment for consensual same-sex relations, has sparked international concerns about human rights violations and discrimination.
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