Denmark will cut $10 million in aid to Tanzania, citing “negative developments” over human rights.
In a post on Twitter, Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tornaes, said she was "deeply concerned" about a Tanzanian official's "completely unacceptable homophobic statements."
Denmark contributes large amounts to the Tanzanian government, which depends heavily on foreign aid to run various programmes. But the Tanzanian government’s human rights record has come under increasing scrutiny.
Most recently the commissioner for the country's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, urged Tanzanians to "report" suspected homosexuals. The comments were condemned by rights groups and even Tanzania's federal government distanced itself.
Despite the federal government’s move, there are still fears of a crackdown against homosexuals within the country. There is good reason for people to fear a crackdown after the recent arrest of 10 men who allegedly attended a gay marriage.
Human Rights Watch has said Tanzania's government, under President John Magufuli, "has restricted basic rights through repressive laws and decrees" targeting journalists, activists and perceived opponents.
Magufuli is a former public works minister who was voted into the presidency in 2015. He seems to be personally driving many of the government’s controversial policies, from corruption to birth control.
According to AP, while some of his policies have been welcomed, other policies have alarmed many, who see an authoritarian streak.