Following the news that Denmark will withhold $10 million worth of aid from Tanzania due to human rights abuses and unacceptable homophobia, the EU has also said it will reconsider its current position.
Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief stated: “The EU and its member states are concerned about recent political developments in Tanzania”. The statement continued, “Respect for human rights and the rule of law has been repeatedly undermined. The EU is deeply concerned about the deteriorating situation for LGBTI persons.”
This follows a string of disturbing events, including Governor of Dar Es Salaam, Paul Makonda, stating he would conduct a country-wide purge of LGBT+ people and encouraged Tanzanian people to report their LGBT+ relatives to authorities – which resulted in over 5,000 people being reported. There have been hundreds of arrests, forced anal examinations of men in order to “prove” they are gay, and promises of forced conversion therapies.
The EU denying €100 million worth of aid to Tanzania would make a huge impact. The World Bank also announced they would pull out of a planned $300 million educational loan to the country due to Tanzania’s policy of expelling young girls who have become pregnant from school. This policy would continue even after the girls gave birth, with no concern for the fact that many young girls had been subjected to rape and sexual violence or forced prostitution.
A World Bank spokesman said they support “policies that encourage girls’ education and make it possible for young girls to study in schools until they reach their full potential. The economic and social returns for girls finishing their education are very high in every society for both current and future generations.”
The EU statement continued: “Taking into account all these elements, the European Union and its Member States have decided to conduct a comprehensive review of its policies towards the United Republic of Tanzania.”
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