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

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid