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U.S. cuts nearly $6 million in aid to Uganda in response to extreme anti-gay law

Following the passing of a new harsh anti-gay law in the country, Uganda will see millions of dollars cut in U.S. aid.

U.S. cuts aid to Uganda
Photo by Keith Tsuji/Getty Images

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed new anti-gay restrictions into law in February that would mean jail time for homosexual acts and up to life for what they consider "aggravated homosexuality" for those engaging with a minor. According to Reuters, the United States will retract around $6 million in aid presently allocated for Uganda.

The United States is cutting $2.4 million from a Ugandan community policing program after reports of people being detained and abused while in custody. Another $3 million will be cut from a proposed national public health institute in Uganda and be shifted to another yet unnamed African country. The White House has also canceled a U.S.-sponsored military exercise in Uganda, in addition to putting a freeze on visas from those who are under suspicion of human rights violations.

A statement released by the White House on Thursday indicates that the cuts were imposed to "reinforce our support for human rights of all Ugandans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity." A government official was asked about the restrictions and noted that Uganda is a sovereign country who could not be "blackmailed" to change their laws.