European Parliament planning Nigeria, Uganda sanctions

Uganda-flag-628x417The European Parliament is planning sanctions against Nigeria and Uganda over their anti-gay laws. The two countries have violated the Cotonou accord on human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, MEPs voted on Thursday (March 13). According to AFP, there could be targeted sanctions, including restrictions on travel and visas, against "the key individuals responsible for drafting and adopting". Janusz Lewandowsk, EU Budget Commissioner, told MEPs that Brussels had already "had very frank discussions with the two countries" following the introduction of anti-gay laws in recent months. "The outcome of these contacts will be very important in determining how our relations with Nigeria and Uganda develop under the Cotonou accord," Lewandowski added. A statement added that the European Parliament plans to review aid to the countries, but will aim to redirect it towards civil society rather than suspending it altogether. Last month, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed an anti-gay bill on live television that could see gay people facing life imprisonment. Earlier this year, Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan signed a similar bill, which could see gay people facing lengthly custodial sentences, as well as banning advocacy of LGBTI rights. > Ireland not cutting aid to Uganda over anti-gay laws > William Hague “deeply saddened” by Uganda anti-gay bill