EU to review Tanzania relations


The European Union recalled its envoy in Tanzania and will review relations with the country in response to a planned crackdown on homosexuals.

Brussels criticised what it saw as growing human rights violations in Tanzania.
“The EU regrets the deterioration of the human rights and rule of law situation in Tanzania and will conduct a broad review of relations with Tanzania,” spokeswoman Susanne Mbise said in a statement.

Paul Makonda, administrative chief of Dar es Salaam, said last week a special committee would seek to identify and punish homosexuals, prostitutes and online fraudsters in the city.

The foreign ministry said Makonda’s anti-gay campaign represented his own views and not the official government position.

Homosexuality remains taboo across much of Africa and gay people face discrimination or persecution, with rights groups often reluctant to speak publicly in defence of gay rights.

President John Magufuli cracked down on homosexuality since winning power in 2015 and a conviction for having “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” can lead to a sentence of up to 30 years in jail.

Last October, at least 12 men were arrested at a Dar es Salaam hotel in a raid on a gathering which authorities said was to promote same-sex relationships.

The United States advised its citizens in Tanzania to review social media and internet activity and remove material that may violate Tanzania’s laws on homosexual practises.