US imposes sanctions on Uganda for anti-gay laws

Uganda homosexuality laws

The US has announced a raft of sanctions against Uganda because of the country’s ‘anti-gay’ laws. This includes barring entry to Ugandans involved in human rights abuses against gay people and slashing funds to programs it is running with Uganda’s government.

In February, Uganda passed a law allowing life imprisonment for acts of “aggravated homosexuality”. The law also criminalises the “promotion of homosexuality”.

The White House said this has raised serious questions around Uganda’s commitment to protecting human rights.

“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 National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden Hayden in a written statement.

“The US will also discontinue or redirect funds for certain programmes involving the Ugandan Police Force, National Public Health Institute and Ministry of Health, and has cancelled plans to conduct a US military-sponsored aviation exercise in the African nation.”

It is the latest effort by US officials to challenge Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.

Last week, US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand decried the nomination of Uganda’s foreign minister Sam Kutesa as president of the UN General Assembly, given his country’s treatment of gay people.

More than 9,000 people signed a petition urging UN states to block the appointment, but it went ahead.

The World Bank postponed a $90m (£54m) loan to Uganda to improve its health services after the law was approved.

Several European nations including Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden have cut aid to Uganda to show their opposition to the law.

Uganda has said it will not change the laws and will not bow to “Western pressure and provocation”.

Source: BBC