KAMPALA – The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Mr Henry Okello Oryem has castigated Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine and his international lawyer Robert Amsterdam saying that calling for sanctions against the Ugandan government is uncalled for.
Speaking to a local radio station in Kampala on Friday morning Minister Oryem said if the country is handed any sanctions, it will be the ordinary Ugandans to suffer, urging politicians to avoid pushing for selfish agendas at the expense of the country.
The minister’s remarks followed Bobi Wine and Amsterdam’s much publicised international media conference in Washington DC on Thursday, September 6, where the two vowed to press the US government for sanctions against President Yoweri Museveni and the other top government officials involved in torture.
At the press conference, Mr Amsterdam said: “We want the US government to immediately suspend military funding to the Ugandan government and launch an investigation into how the military equipment supplied to the
Ugandan army is being used in the war of terror in torture against Ugandan citizens”.
He also said top officials involved in torture would be personally targeted in form of “travel bans” and cutting their “ability to hold assets”.
Mr Amsterdam who accused Mr Museveni of operating like President Vladimir Putin and Russia said he will be meeting with congressmen and other US government officials in the state department and providing them with details of the level of brutality happening in Uganda.
“We want the American taxpayer to know what they are paying for,” Mr Amsterdam added before dismissing claims that there’s a foreign agent behind the musician-turned Member of Parliament.
“The Museveni regime is taking a page from Mr Putin’s rulebook; they torture you, poison you and after say it is false news! We are not going to play that game,” Amsterdam.
However, Minster Oryem said such accusations and sanctions are seeking to discredit government abroad.
He also attacked Bobi Wine’s lawyer Mr Amsterdam over claims of the state’s torture of civilians, advising him to start by investigating the same in his own country.
Recently, Mr. Amsterdam through his law firm issued a statement in which he sternly condemned the manner in which the MP and his colleagues were arrested and treated in Arua.
He also threatened to pursue sanctions against Ugandan officials involved in what he called “inhuman and horrific acts of torture”
The acts by Ugandan security officials, Mr Amsterdam said to require “a robust and broad response from the international community.”
“The situation for Mr Kyagulanyi is profoundly grave, immediate, and deserving of urgent action and intervention,” said Amsterdam.
“When a state behaves with this level of impunity and violence, there are few statements or resolutions that will stop them from the murder of an innocent opponent like Bobi Wine,” he said.
“That’s why we need to hit these officials in their wallets with a Magnitsky-style sanctions schedule as they need to understand the consequences of this attack on human rights,” Amsterdam wrote.