Dutch Cabinet limits cooperation with Uganda due to anti-gay legislation
The Netherlands will cut down on its cooperation with Uganda because the president of the African country has approved controversial anti-gay legislation. On Monday, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni approved a law that is considered one of the strictest against LGBTI people in the world.
This led to fierce criticism from Western governments, international companies and human rights organizations. Under the law, HIV patients can face the death penalty if they have sex with someone of the same sex.
"It's terrible that Uganda is definitely opting for extreme anti-LGBTIQ+ legislation," said Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Minister Liesje Schreinemacher on Monday. The Dutch government will continue to "actively support" the protection of the LGBTI community in that country.
She announced that the government will end its support for law enforcement programs. More than 25 million euros were set to be spent on the discontinued collaboration in the coming years.
The anti-gay legislation may also affect other cooperation programs with Uganda. The minister will make a decision about that at a later date.
Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Twitter he was "deeply disappointed" that the lead passed. "The Netherlands stands for the defense of human rights for all and strongly appeals to Uganda to do the same."
Reporting by ANP