The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Johnnie Carson, met with approximately 30 advocacy leaders last week to highlight the State Department’s efforts to condemn an “Anti-Homosexuality” bill that is being debated in Uganda. The briefing was organized by the Public Affairs Bureau and provided a candid recount of U.S. diplomatic efforts to speak out against this unprecedented assault on basic human rights. Read more details in the new DC Agenda.
Jon Tollefson, a State Department spokesperson, told DC Agenda that Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has pledged on several occasions to the top U.S. diplomat engaged in Africa that he would stop progress on the anti-gay bill.
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson received this assurance from Museveni on Oct. 24 during an in-person meeting with the president in Uganda and again during a phone conversation with Museveni on Dec. 4, Tollefson said.
“To have the Africa Bureau, the State Department and the White House so publicly working against homophobia, not just in Uganda, but in Rwanda, Burundi and elsewhere, is a major change of course,” said IGLHRC Executive Director Cary Alan Johnson who attended Friday’s meeting. “Ambassador Carson was unequivocal, and I believe that he will do everything in his power to help Uganda avoid this Bill.”
Photo: Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Entebbe, July 2003. Photo by Paul Morse.