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Uganda's Anti-gay distraction is back
by KPFA Weekend News/Ann Garrison
Wednesday Nov 2nd, 2011 3:10 PM
11.02.2011 - Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill has long distracted the world from the human rights abuses of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, in both Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. And, now it's back, yet again, as the country experiences a resurgence in protest against the soaring cost of basic necessities and the Museveni government's corruption in deals with Western corporations to extract Uganda's vast oil reserves. KPFA reported on 10.30.2011. Audio archive: 3 minutes.

KPFA Weekend News Anchor: Turning now to news from Africa; Uganda’s notorious Anti-Homosexuality Bill, also called the Hang-the-Gays Bill, is reported to be under consideration again in the country’s Parliament, but many Ugandan political activists say that the bill has been only a political ploy by President YoweriMuseveni and his ruling party, to distract the West from the Museveni government's more extensive human rights abuses. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.
KPFA/Ann Garrison: Human Rights Watch has documented the crimes of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s regime inside Uganda in its 2009 report titled “Illegal Detention and Torture by Uganda’s Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force” and in many subsequent reports, as has Amnesty International. The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has published multiple reports documenting theMuseveni regime’s war crimes, atrocities, and plunder in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This year at least 9 Ugandans have been shot dead by Ugandan military police, while protesting soaring food and fuel prices. Many more have been imprisoned, but, Western officials and heads of state haven’t objected. However, President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, California Senator Barbara Boxer, and the U.S. Senate and House have all spoken out against the Anti-Homosexuality Bill.
KPFA asked Anne Mugisha, a leader of Uganda’s non-partisan protests against food and fuel prices, corruption, and political repression, to describe Ugandans’ frustration:  
Anne Mugisha of Uganda's Activists for Change
Anne Mugisha: What's frustrating for us is that when we have people killed on the streets during a demonstration on the cost of living, we do not hear a bleep from the United States or from any of the Western countries, but the moment they bring up the Hang the Gays Bill, as it's known in the United States, then suddenly we have all this activity, with activists interested in human rights in Uganda. 
Ann Garrison: That was Anne Mugisha of Uganda's Activists for Change.  
For PacificaKPFA/Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.