A South African gay rights group has slammed new efforts to revive the concept of a “United States of Africa”.
The South Africa Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (SA GLAAD) said on Tuesday that it feared that citizens of South Africa would be adversely affected by a single African government.
“Our fear is that South Africa will be dragged into a situation where our own constitutional laws guaranteeing human rights equality will be overridden and replaced by a ‘general’ constitution,” said a statement from the group.
SA GLAAD cited the fact that homosexuality is criminalised in 29 nations in Africa, with countries such as Nigeria, Uganda and Ethiopia recently cracking down on their LGBT communities, as reason for LGBT South Africans to be concerned about a United States of Africa.
“We object to South Africa building relations with countries who flagrantly abuse the human rights of their own citizens – and even seek to unify with them. It is a very worrying proposition indeed, especially where GLBTIQ equality and human rights are concerned.”
The United States of Africa movement is back in the headlines thanks to Libyan leader Muammar Gadaffi, who was controversially elected head of the African Union (AU) this week.
Gadaffi has long touted the idea and mentioned it in his inaugural speech at an AU summit in Addis Ababa on Monday:
“I shall continue to insist that our sovereign countries work to achieve the United States of Africa,” he said.
“We urge the South African government to place the best interests of ALL its own citizens above the call to unite with nations who show no regard whatsoever for human rights or equality,” said SA GLAAD.