The European Parliament has called for sanctions against Uganda and Nigeria over these countries’ recently enacted anti-gay laws.
On Thursday, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) said that Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act and Nigeria’s Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act violate the Cotonou Agreement with regard to human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.
The MEPs called for targeted sanctions, including travel and visa bans, against “the key individuals responsible for drafting and adopting these two laws.”
They also demanded a review of the EU development aid strategy with Uganda and Nigeria “with a view to redirecting aid to civil society and other organisations rather than suspending it.”
The Cotonou Agreement is a treaty signed in 2000 between the European Union and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (‘ACP countries’), which aims to eradicate poverty and provide for sustainable development.
The treaty commits the parties to meeting “their international obligations and commitments concerning respect for human rights,” which, says the agreement, “underpin the ACP-EU Partnership.”
Uganda has already been hit by a number of cuts or redirection of foreign aid by the World Bank, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
Ugandan LGBTI activists say they don’t support general aid cuts, but will back targeted cuts to government departments, such as the Justice Ministry, that have backed the law or will enforce it.
The laws passed in Uganda and Nigeria, where gay sex was already illegal, extend the oppression of LGBT people to areas of public affection, marriage and even the formation of gay rights groups.
It remains to be seen if these laws will spark further legislative attacks on LGBT Africans under the guise of “protecting children” and upholding Christian and African “values”.