News / USA

US Takes Measures Against Uganda for Anti-gay Law

FILE - Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-homosexual bill into law at the state house in Entebbe, 36 km (22 miles) south west of capital Kampala, Feb. 24, 2014.
FILE - Uganda President Yoweri Museveni signs an anti-homosexual bill into law at the state house in Entebbe, 36 km (22 miles) south west of capital Kampala, Feb. 24, 2014.
Reuters
The United States on Thursday canceled a regional military exercise in Uganda, imposed visa restrictions, diverted funds for a health institute to another country and cut funding for a Ugandan police program in response to a law that imposes harsh penalties for homosexuality.
 
Senior U.S. administration officials, speaking before the announcement by the White House, said the stepped up measures were carefully targeted at those responsible for abuses related to implementation of the anti-gay law and involved in corruption.
 
The officials said the steps would not directly impact HIV/AIDS and food programs that benefit ordinary Ugandans.
 
“The idea is to send a signal to perpetrators and would-be perpetrators that we are indeed monitoring, that we are indeed prepared to take measures, and that there are consequences,” a senior administration official told Reuters.

President Barack Obama had warned Museveni at the time that the law would complicate relations between the two countries. Since then, the United States has been reviewing its funding to Uganda, while privately pressing Museveni's government to repeal the law.
 
Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa was in Washington last week meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss American concerns about the law, which imposes life imprisonment for those engaging in homosexual sex.
 
Washington has been careful in its retaliation not to divert funding from projects that will directly affect HIV/AIDS or nutritional programs that benefit ordinary Ugandans.
 
Uganda is also a key Western ally in the fight against Islamic extremism in Somalia, where Ugandan troops form the backbone of the African Union force battling al-Qaida-aligned militants.
 
Western donors, including the United States, have already halted or re-directed about $118 million in aid to the East African nation's economy, although steps so far have had limited impact on the budget, in part because the aid dollars are still coming in even if they are not going to the state.
 
Although aid contributed around 20 percent of the budget this year, it has been falling as a proportion, sliding from 25 percent in 2012-2013 year as Uganda seeks to become less dependent on aid.

You May Like

VOA Exclusive: Interview With Myanmar President Thein Sein

Thein Sein calls allegations that minority Muslim Rohingya are fleeing alleged torture in Rakhine state a media fabrication More

Video Better Protective Suit Sought for Ebola Caregivers

Current suit is uncomfortable, requires too many steps for removal, increasing chance of deadly contact with virus More

UN Rights Commission Investigates Eritrea

Three-member commission will start collecting first-hand information from victims and other witnesses in Switzerland and Italy next week More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concernsi
X
November 19, 2014 11:39 PM
The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.
Video

Video What Jon Stewart Learned About Iran From 'Rosewater'

Jon Stewart, host of the satirical news program "The Daily Show" talks with Saman Arbabi of Voice of America's Persian service about Stewart's directorial debut, "Rosewater."
Video

Video Lebanese Winemakers Thrive Despite War Next Door

In some of the most volatile parts of Lebanon, where a constant flow of refugees crosses the border from Syria, one industry continues to flourish against the odds. Lebanese winemakers say after surviving a brutal civil war in the 1970s and 80s, they can survive anything. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.
Video

Video China's Rise Closely Watched

China’s role as APEC host this week allowed a rare opportunity for Beijing to showcase its vision for the global economy and the region. But as China’s stature grows, so have tensions with other countries, including the United States. VOA’s Bill Ide in Beijing reports on how China’s rise as a global power is seen among Chinese and Americans.

All About America

AppleAndroid