US To Withdraw Aid In Uganda Over Anti-Gay Law

Image: Museveni

The United States has announced plans to withdraw key services and aid offered to Uganda after the signing of an anti-gay bill into law on Monday.

In a statement, US President Joe Biden condemned the move, calling it a “gross violation of human rights” and calling for the law to be repealed.

“I join with people around the world—including many in Uganda—in calling for its immediate repeal,” Biden said. “This act is a threat to the people of Uganda, including U.S. citizens.”

Biden said he has directed the National Security Council to evaluate some of the key aids the US is offering to Uganda, including the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“As such, I have directed my National Security Council to evaluate the implications of this law on all aspects of U.S. engagement with Uganda, including our ability to safely deliver services under the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and other forms of assistance and investments,” he said.

“My Administration will also incorporate the impacts of the law into our review of Uganda’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA),” he added.

Biden further said his administration was deliberating the application of sanctions and restriction of entry into the US.

The anti-gay law, which was signed by Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, imposes a life sentence on anyone convicted of “aggravated homosexuality.” The law has been widely condemned by human rights groups, who say it is discriminatory and will lead to increased violence and discrimination against LGBTQ people in Uganda.

The US is not the only country to have condemned the law. The United Kingdom, Canada, and Norway have also expressed their opposition to the law and have called for its repeal.

The Ugandan government has defended the law, saying it is necessary to protect the country’s “moral fabric.” However, human rights groups say the law is nothing more than a way to persecute LGBTQ people.

The signing of the anti-gay law is a major setback for LGBTQ rights in Uganda. The law is likely to have a chilling effect on the lives of LGBTQ people in Uganda, and it is possible that it will lead to an increase in violence and discrimination against them.

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Dennis Elnino

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