EU to Cut Aid for African Countries with Anti-Gay Laws

Written by | Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, said at a joint summit with MPs from the Pan-African Parliament on Monday (31 March) that putting homosexuals into jail for their sexual orientation is a disgrace that disqualifies those countries from receiving European development aid. After Uganda and Nigeria, Ethiopia has lately become the third African country to imprison Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT). More African nations are expected to join the “anti-gay club” with Kenya currently preparing similar legislation.
Mr Schulz commented that that anti-gay laws represented unacceptable violation of the basic rights of individuals and they are a disgrace in far too many places. In his opinion, it is really abhorrent that in some countries “people are even put to death for their decision whom to love”. Martin Schultz is widely expected to become the next European Commission President after May elections. In the run-up to the elections, he emphasized that the EU needed to refocus its development aid on those civil society and non-profit organizations that battle with sexual discrimination and exclusion. Therefore, Brussels should act and take appropriate measures against those nations that criminalize homosexuality by passing repressive legislation against gays and lesbians.
The issue of human rights has become a disputable point on the agenda of the 4th EU-African Summit that has started today (2 April), whereby West African countries failed to sign a free trade agreement before the summit that could have increased EU imports to the continent. Instead, the EU has frozen assets of budget payments to Uganda (460 million euros yearly) and other sanctions are likely to follow. Brussels is going to hold a series of talks with Kampala soon which will decide how relations will further develop. In the meantime, some African MPs expressed their dissatisfaction over the increased EU’s focus on human rights issues.

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