The Obama administration canceled a regional military exercise in Uganda on Thursday due to the country’s gay sex laws. The African nation implemented a bill in February that makes gay sex an offense that could land individuals a life sentence in prison.
“The idea is to send a signal to perpetrators and would-be perpetrators that we are indeed monitoring, that we are indeed prepared to take measures, and that there are consequences,” a senior administration official told Reuters Thursday. The White House specifically wants to target those responsible for abuses connected with the anti-gay laws’ implementation.
When the bill was signed in February, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni blasted the United States for saying the law would complicate its relationship with the country.
“We Africans never seek to impose our view on others,” Mr. Museveni said, the Associated Press reported. “If only they could let us alone. We have been disappointed for a long time by the conduct of the West. There is now an attempt at social imperialism.”
In addition to the canceled military exercises, the U.S. also imposed visa restrictions on individuals and cut funding for a Ugandan police program, Retuers reported.