1. Nobody will move us over anti-gay law - Museveni

    Activists protest outside the Ugandan Embassy over Uganda's parliamentary Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2023 on April 25, 2023 in Washington, DC
    Image caption: The US has threatened Uganda with sanctions for its opposition to gay rights

    Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has told off Western powers and human rights groups over their opposition to a tough new anti-gay bill that he has signed into law.

    Mr Museveni insisted that the law was a done deal, defying calls to have it repealed.

    "The signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is finished, nobody will move us. We should be ready for a war," he said in a statement after a meeting with members of his ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.

    "The NRM has never had two languages, what we tell you in the day is what we shall say to you at night," he added.

    US President Joe Biden criticised the law as a "tragic violation of universal human rights" and called for its repeal, adding that the US was considering sanctions.

    The European Union and UN chief Antonio Guterres have also condemned the law.

    Mr Museveni signed the bill into law after parliament watered it down at his request – but It is still among the harshest anti-LGBTQ laws in the world.

    Anyone convicted for gay sexual acts faces life imprisonment. The law also imposes the death penalty for "aggravated cases", which include statutory rape of a person younger than 18, or where one is infected with a life-long illness including HIV.

  2. Ugandan lawyer shot dead as he arrived home

    A Ugandan lawyer has been shot dead in central Wakiso region, north-west of capital Kampala.

    Police told local media that Ronald Mukisa, 45, was killed on Tuesday night as he was arriving home.

    Kampala police deputy spokesperson Luke Owoyesigyire said neighbours heard shots as Mr Muskia, who works in the capital city, was parking his car at around 23:00 local time.

    An unidentified individual shot at him several times and then quickly fled the scene, escaping on a waiting motorcycle, he said.

    Police have asked anyone with relevant information regarding this incident to assist officers in investigations.

    It comes at a time the country is witnessing increased gun violence.

  3. Ugandan president signs anti-gay bill into law

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni

    Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has assented to the controversial anti-homosexuality bill, despite condemnation of Western countries and human rights activists.

    The bill was first passed by MPs in March but was returned to the parliament for amendment.

    In the new law, the offence of homosexuality is now limited to gay sexual acts. People convicted under this clause face life imprisonment.

    The legislation also prescribes death penalty for aggravated offences, in cases of sexual abuse against a minor, a disabled person or where a victim of abuse is infected with a life-long illness.

    Members of the public will also be required to report to the authorities any form of homosexual abuse against children or other vulnerable people.

    The law initially criminalised identifying as a sexual minority but Mr Museveni argued that this would have led to the arrest and prosecution of people for just their physical appearance.

    This clause was removed when the the president returned the bill to the parliament.

    A joint statement by the Global Fund, the US government’s President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) and UNAIDS said in response to the new law that they were “deeply concerned” about its harmful impact.

    They said it would obstruct health education and outreach on Aids, noting that LGBTQ people were increasing fearful of their safety and security and that more people were being discouraged from seeking vital health services.

    It is likely that the law will be challenged in court.

    A similar one was struck down by the Ugandan constitutional court in 2014.

  4. Al-Shabab attack panicked Uganda troops, says president

    David Bamford

    BBC World Service News

    Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni has confirmed that a Ugandan army base in Somalia was stormed by hundreds of al-Shabab militants just before dawn on Friday.

    In a statement published on Twitter, he criticised the Ugandan troops stationed there, accusing them of failure.

    These are sharp words from the President Museveni about the conduct of his own soldiers after Islamist fighters managed to overrun one of their African Union mission bases in Somalia.

    He said the soldiers panicked and withdrew. This was unnecessary, he said, because their defence would have been strong enough if they had stayed in place.

    On Friday, al-Shabab had said it had killed numerous Ugandans. Mr Museveni acknowledged that there had been some deaths but gave no details.

    The United States later carried out an airstrike to destroy captured weapons.

    A military inquiry is under way.

  5. Ugandan MPs pass bill raising paternity leave days

    A man holding a child
    Image caption: The MPs said the increase would give men more time to support their spouses

    The Ugandan parliament has passed a bill that increases paternity leave from four to seven days to enable male working employees to help their spouses.

    “It ought to be appreciated that if we wish to have a society where men play an increased supportive role to their spouses, it is important that more time be accorded to male employees to help their spouses,” Flavia Kabahenda, the chairperson of parliament's gender committee, said after the passage of the bill sponsored by the government.

    The MPs said they borrowed a leaf from neighbouring Kenya which accords male working employees two weeks for paternity leave, state-owned New Vision reports.

    The parliament, however, rejected a proposal to provide additional leave days from the current 60 days to 90 days for female employees who give birth to more than one child at the same time.

    Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka rejected the proposal describing it as extreme for the employers.

    The bill has been forwarded to President Yoweri Museveni, who local media say is likely to assent it into law.

  6. Ugandan officer kills himself after firing into boss's room

    Uganda police say they have registered a case of "attempted murder" and "suicide by shooting" after a 47-year-old officer is thought to have "shot several bullets into the room" of his boss and then turned the gun on himself.

    The incident took place during the early hours of Wednesday at Makokoto police post in Kassanda district in central Uganda.

    The scene of crime has been visited and documented by our task team", Ugandan police tweeted.

    A police spokesperson has warned that Uganda has seen three cases of shootings involving police and security operatives in the space of one week, according to Uganda's Monitor news site.

    In response to the violence the country's Internal Security Organisation is offering officers further training on gun handling, the Monitor reports..

  7. Uganda restricts pilgrims from trekking overnight

    Christian pilgrims reach out to touch a stained glass window with the image of one of the Ugandan martyrs at the Catholic Basilica Church of the Uganda Martyrs a day before the Ugandan national Martyrs Day holiday in 2005 in Namugongo, Uganda
    Image caption: Martyrs' Day commemorates 45 Ugandans killed between 1885 and 1887 for converting to Christianity

    Ugandan police have restricted night movement for Christian pilgrims travelling to Namugongo Shrine for next month's Martyrs’ Day celebrations, citing safety reasons.

    Pilgrims from the neighbouring countries of Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and South Sudan, as well as those from the furthest districts in Uganda, have started trekking on foot to Namugongo.

    Police chief Okoth Ochola has directed regional commanders to ensure the pilgrims sleep in churches, schools and community centres.

    No incidents of crime had so far been reported, he said, and he ordered officers to provide security for those making the pilgrimage.

    On Monday, police spokesperson Fred Enanga urged the pilgrims, especially those who had not made the trip before, to be vigilant as they can often be targeted by criminals.

    Ambulances were on standby on all major highways for medical evacuation and emergency response, he added.

    Martyrs' Day is a national public holiday in Uganda and more than a million pilgrims are expected to make the journey to commemorate 45 martyrs, both Catholic and Anglican, who were killed between 1885 and 1887 on orders of Kababa Mwanga II, then king of Buganda, for converting to Christianity.

    Pilgrims arriving at Namugongo Shrine
    Image caption: More than a million pilgrims are expected at Namugongo Shrine this year
  8. Key Ugandan highway cut off by floods

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    A flooded section of the Kampala-Masaka highway
    Image caption: The highway is an important travel and trade route for the country

    A major highway leading out of Uganda’s capital Kampala to the south-west of the country has been cut off after a bridge collapsed following flash floods.

    In the early hours of Thursday, traffic was brought to a standstill by knee-deep running water across the road.

    And as the water receded later in the day, it was discovered that part of the bridge at River Katonga had collapsed.

    Swathes of land in Lwera swamp, a major part of the Lake Victoria catchment, have been reclaimed for farming, and a lot of sandmining carried out in the area in recent years.

    The country’s roads authority has been advising travellers to use alternative routes to get to the main cities of Masaka, Mbarara and further towards the borders.

    One of the diversions is at least 200km (124 miles) which is double the distance between Mpigi town and Masaka city.

    The highway is an important travel and trade route for the country, as it is the main highway for exports and imports from across the region not only to the south-west, but also to and from Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    East Africa’s Great Lakes region has been facing severe weather, resulting in disastrous floods.

    At least 20 people have died in Uganda in recent weeks due to landslides and flooding.

    Flooding has also claimed hundreds of lives in Rwanda and DR Congo.

  9. Explosives discovered in Uganda ahead of protests

    A bomb squad member of the Uganda police prepares to deotnate a suspicious box wrapped with a ribbon, on a fence near the Central Police Station in Kampala, Uganda, on November 16, 2021.
    Image caption: Uganda's capital has been hit by deadly explosives in recent years (file photo)

    Uganda’s security forces say they have discovered explosives intended for use during planned anti-government protests in the capital Kampala.

    An activist group, Uganda Freedom Activists, has called for nationwide protests on Monday against corruption and economic hardships in the country.

    Defence spokesperson, Brig Felix Kulayigye, in a tweet said the explosives were found in Nabweru on the road to Kazo in central Wakiso district.

    “These were to be used today in the city by those planning to paint it red,” Brig Kulayigye said.

    Four people were arrested for alleged possession of improvised explosive devices, the army said.

    Police warned the activists against organising the protests, terming them unlawful.

    The activists have, however, vowed to go on with the protests, describing Brig Kulayigye as a "liar".

  10. In pictures: Africa and the King's Coronation

    The Coronation of King Charles in the UK capital was a sumptuous affair - and among the guests were African royalty and leaders as well as other well-known figures from the continent.

    Various royal couples from around the world paraded into London's Westminster Abbey on Saturday, but Ghana’s King of the Ashanti Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife Lady Julia Osei Tutu were among the most arresting:

    Ashanti Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife Lady Julia Osei Tutu - 6 May 2023
    Ashanti Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and his wife Lady Julia Osei Tutu - 6 May 2023

    King Mswati III of Eswatini - Africa’s last absolute monarch - was accompanied by one of his wives Queen LaMbikiza:

    King Mswati III of Eswatini and Queen LaMbikiza - 6 May 2023

    They had to contend with the British weather - and umbrellas were out for them as they approached the abbey:

    King Mswati III of Eswatini and Queen LaMbikiza under an umbrella - 6 May 2023

    Lesotho’s King Lestie III and Queen Masenate was also pictured walking towards the gathering of more than 2,000 guests.

    Lesotho’s King Lestie III and Queen Masenate - 6 May 2023

    They walked up the aisle to their seats with other royal families:

    Lesotho’s King Lestie III and Queen Masenate amongst royals walking in Westminster Abbey - 6 May 2023

    Commonwealth leaders showed up in force - having met King Charles the day before.

    Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba (R), and his wife Sylvia Bongo Ondimba, progressed in slowly to their seats as the 64-year-old leader now walks with a stick having suffered a stroke several years ago:

    Gabon’s President Ali Bongo Ondimba (R), and his wife Sylvia Bongo Ondimba

    Gabon joined the Commonwealth last year, one of the few nations with no historic ties to the UK to be part of the 54-member club. Below the Gabonese leader can be spotted seated with other Commonwealth leaders, including those from Malawi and Nigeria.

    Commonwealth leaders seated in Westminster Abbey - 6 May 2023

    In the seating for other world leaders, Senegal’s President Macky Sall was in attendance with his Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall, in emerald green, by his side.

    Senegal’s President Macky Sall was seated next to his Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall

    South African opera star Pretty Yende wowed the guests with her voice and outfit when she sang Sacred Fire, a new piece written by composer Sarah Class for the occasion:

    Pretty Yende singing - 6 May 2023

    Later she could be seen looking down at King Charles and his attendants as they made their way down the aisle at the start of the ceremony:

    Pretty Yende (R) looking down at King Charles and his entourage - 6 May 2023

    Another eye-catching design was worn by Eva Omaghom, a British-Nigerian who is a cultural anthropologist and works as director of community engagement for King Charles and Queen Camilla:

    Eva Omaghom arriving at Westminster Abbey -  6 May 2023

    Dame Elizabeth Anionwu (L), a pioneering British sickle cell nurse whose father was from Nigeria, wore a stylish Nigerian "gele" headscarf as she carried in the Sovereign's Orb into the abbey:

    Dame Elizabeth Anionwu (L) carrying the orb - 6 May 2023

    Uganda-born Dr John Sentamu, the former Archbishop of York, also took part in proceedings - and was one of the Anglican Church clerics to walk up the aisle:

    Dr John Sentamu (centre front standing) - 6 May 2023

    Style guru Edward Enninful, the Ghanaian-born editor of British Vogue and a global ambassador for the Prince's Trust, enjoyed a selfie before the pageantry began:

    Edward Enniful, editor of British Vogue, taking a selfie with a policeman - 6 May 2023

    And the event was also watched by people at various special sites set up in Africa, like at the British high commissioner's residence in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi:

    Guests at the British embassy in Nairobi for the Coronation - 6 May 2023
  11. Cannabis and khat ban overturned in Uganda

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    The farmers' legal team.
    Image caption: Lawyers for the farmers argued that categorising khat as a narcotic substance was not based on science

    A law that criminalised drugs and narcotics, such as marijuana and khat, has been nullified by Uganda’s constitutional court.

    It follows a challenge started six years ago by a group of khat farmers in response to the 2015 law. This has now been repealed in its entirety after the court ruled that it had been passed without the required quorum in parliament.

    For any law to be debated and passed in the Ugandan parliament, at least one-third of all members entitled to vote must be present in the house.

    Even though the law has been struck down, there is however still a risk of arrest for growing, possession, consumption, or sale of banned or restricted drugs under other Ugandan laws.

    In Uganda, security forces often raid and burn down or uproot cannabis and khat farms on private land.

    The sale and consumption of the herbs for recreational purposes is also illegal, and the police often arrest people for their possession.

    Across Africa, countries have been making moves towards the legalisation of commercial growing and export medical of marijuana.

  12. Uganda killer bodyguard assigned a month ago

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Col Engola
    Image caption: Col Engola had previously served as a deputy minister for defence

    The Ugandan soldier who shot and killed Charles Okello Engola, the deputy minister for gender and labour, has been identified as Wilson Sabiiti.

    He had been assigned to the minister’s security detail a month ago.

    During the shootout at Col Engola’s home on Tuesday morning, Private Sabiiti also injured the minister’s aide-de-camp Lt Ronald Otim. He is currently receiving treatment at Mulago Hospital in the capital, Kampala.

    The soldier is reported to have shot in the air around the neighbourhood afterwards before killing himself.

  13. Uganda parliament waters down anti-gay law

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    A person holds an umbrella bearing the colours of the rainbow flag as others wave flags during the the first gay pride rally since the overturning of a tough anti-homosexuality law, which authorities have appealed, in Entebbe - August 2014
    Image caption: Under the previous bill people who identified as gay in Uganda risked life in prison

    Parliament in Uganda has watered down an anti-homosexuality bill that originally criminalised people for simply identifying as LGBTQ+.

    The proposed legislation, first approved in March, was returned to the house after President Yoweri Museveni suggested changes.

    He said the clause penalising people who identify as gay would have led to the prosecution of people simply for their physical appearance.

    The bill still prescribes the death penalty for what it calls aggravated offences - such as child abuse.

    The public will be required to report to the authorities any form of homosexual abuse against children or other vulnerable people.

    Landlords who knowingly rent premises for homosexual acts risk going to prison for seven years.

    The bill was passed with an overwhelming majority, with only one MP opposing it.

    It has been widely condemned by international human rights groups.

    A similar law was struck down by Uganda's constitutional court in 2014.

  14. Ugandan minister shot dead by his bodyguard

    Patience Atuhaire

    BBC News, Kampala

    Retired Col Charles Okello Engola
    Image caption: Retired Col Charles Okello Engola was shot at his home

    A Ugandan national army soldier has shot and killed a government minister he was guarding.

    Retired Col Charles Okello Engola, the deputy minister for labour, was shot at his home in the capital, Kampala, on Tuesday morning.

    It is not yet clear whether there was an argument between the soldier and his boss.

    Some eyewitnesses say the soldier walked around the neighbourhood shooting in the air.

    The soldier, who is yet to be officially identified, then shot himself dead minutes later.

    Reports say a number of people were injured in the incident.

    Videos on social media show locals gathering at the scene in shock.

    Col Engola had previously served as a deputy minister for defence.

  15. US delays key meeting in Uganda over anti-gay bill

    Ugandan LGBT refugees pose in a protected section of Kakuma refugee camp in northwest Kenya. They fled Uganda following the anti-gay law brought in 2014.
    Image caption: The US says decision to delay the meeting does not amount to freezing or cutting aid

    US officials have postponed a meeting in Uganda on an HIV/Aids programme in order to assess the impact of an anti-gay bill soon expected to become law in the East African country.

    The US President’s Emergency Plan For Aids Relief (Pepfar), which spends $400 million in Uganda annually, told Ugandan partners last week that a meeting was being postponed in light of the "potentially imminent signing of the law", the Reuters news agency reported.

    The Uganda Country Operational Plan 2023 (COP23) meeting was set for Friday, according to the Daily Monitor website.

    However, the US State Department spokesperson said the decision did not amount to freezing or cutting Pepfar services in Uganda.

    The bill, which was passed by the Ugandan parliament last month, sets out tough penalties, including life imprisonment for anyone identifying as gay.

    President Yoweri Museveni has, however, returned the bill to parliament for amendments.

    Western countries have condemned the bill, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warning that the proposed law would reverse the gains in the fight against HIV/Aids.