The United States has instigated a programme of sanctions against Uganda for failing to reverse recently created anti-homosexuality laws, saying that such laws are against human rights, reports the BBC.
The White House said that it would impose sanctions against the East African nation after it passed anti-homosexuality laws earlier this year that allow for a life sentence for ‘aggravated homosexuality’.
The climate in Uganda has shifted dramatically against rights for gay, lesbian and bisexual people. National papers have published lists of openly gay people in a bid to stir up hatred among the population.
The United States has now responded by cutting aid to Uganda, and has cancelled a planned military exercise in the region that was going to involve Uganda and other East African countries.
The UK Government has previously confirmed that aid to Uganda would be halted after the law was passed in February this year. The World Bank also froze a £60m loan.
Uganda responded defiantly, with one government minister saying ‘you can keep your gays and keep your aid’.
“We will not shy away from this, we want to rid this country of homosexuality and if that means these people – Obama, Hague, you name them – want to stop their aid then let them,” Ethics minister Simon Lokodo told the Daily Telegraph at the time.
The US confirmed that travel into the US for various Ugandan officials would be halted.
“The Department of State is taking measures to prevent entry into the United States by certain Ugandan officials involved in serious human rights abuses, including against LGBT individuals,” said a spokesperson.
The Ugandan Government says they must stand up for their
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