US aid to Uganda slashed in reaction to 'vile' anti-gay laws

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 June, 2014, 11:20pm
UPDATED : Friday, 20 June, 2014, 11:20pm


The US has imposed sanctions on Uganda, cancelling a military air exercise, imposing visa bans and freezing some aid in reaction to "vile" anti-gay laws. The legislation "runs counter to universal human rights and complicates our bilateral relationship", a White House spokesman said, renewing calls for the law to be repealed.

Signed by President Yoweri Museveni in February, the law calls for "repeat homosexuals" to be jailed for life, outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and obliges Ugandans to denounce gays to authorities.

Rights groups say it has triggered a sharp increase in arrests and assaults on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In the steps announced on Thursday, Ugandan officials involved in "human rights abuses", including those against the gay community, would be barred entry to the United States, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said.

The US gave US$487 million in aid to Uganda last year, of which US$411 million went towards health programmes. Some of that money will now go to non-governmental organisations rather than the health ministry.

Agence France-Presse