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Aid cut to Uganda: EU envoy to prevail on partnersPublish Date: Mar 31, 2014
Aid cut to Uganda: EU envoy to prevail on partners
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Foreign Affairs minister Sam Kutesa
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By Cyprian Musoke

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Uganda Kristian Schmidt has pledged to prevail over his colleagues to refrain from unilateral actions to cut development assistance to Uganda.


In a meeting with Foreign Affairs minister, Sam Kutesa, on Friday, the two agreed to hold regular dialogues starting next month on touchy issues like the recent enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Law.

Schmidt said; "Under the EU standing orders, unilateral declarations by EU member states are discouraged".

The meeting at the ministry of Foreign affairs headquarters in Kampala hosted by Kutesa was aimed at defusing any political issues between the two partners, especially over recent legislations.

"It is expected that, going forward, the outcome of these dialogues will mutually agree to address concerns raised as a result of the enactment of this Law," states a release from the Foreign Affairs ministry

According to the release, Kutesa raised reservations by the uproar against Uganda over the anti-homosexuality law, leaving other African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that had instituted Anti-Homosexuality laws in their statute books.

The two heads agreed to have another political dialogue later next month, specifically on the issue of the Ant-Homosexuality Law.

"Kutesa raised reservations by the uproar against Uganda, questioning EU relationship with other African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries that had instituted Anti-Homosexuality legislations in their statute books.

Schmidt agreed to prevail over his colleagues to refrain from unilateral actions to cut development assistance to Uganda saying it is not allowed under the EU standing orders," the release added.

At least three European countries threatened intention to withdraw millions in direct support to Uganda's government, after President Yoweri Museveni signed the law a month ago.

These included the Dutch government which said it would only continue supporting nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), joining the governments of Norway and Denmark in taking such decision.

Jim Mugunga, a spokesperson for the ministry of Finance said the government is waiting for official communication of the aid cuts.

Ugandan officials have been reacting with scorn, saying that Western governments can keep their money.

Museveni last month told African leaders attending a summit in capital of Kinshasa that although the matter of gay rights is "dear" to the West, "even the homosexuals need electricity".

Media Centre Chief, Ofwono Opondo, said that the aid cuts show Ugandans "that the world does not owe them a living". "It's actually a trap for dependence," he said, talking about donor support.   

 

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