Gambia’s Foreign Minister, Bala Garba Jahumpa, has spoken out against the European Union’s attempts at using developmental aid monies into pressuring Gambia into softening its stance against homosexuality in the country.
According to a Voice of America report Jahumpa declared that Gambia’s President, Yahya Jammeh, was ready to cease contact with EU bodies if his country continued to come under direct or indirect pressure to amend the country’s laws on homosexuality.
“Gambia's government will not tolerate any negotiation on the issue of homosexuality with the EU or any international block or nation,” Jahumpa told state television.
Just last month President Jammeh signed into law an anti-gay bill that criminalized homosexual acts with sentencing guidelines that can result in life in prison for offenders.
Gambia is one of several other countries in sub-Saharan Africa that has varying degrees of laws targeting homosexuals, but the statements from Gambia’s foreign minister are amongst the harshest rebukes against international pressure for increased acceptance of homosexuals in deeply conservative African societies.
“The Gambia will never be a party to the so called Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union as it is designed to continue the same exploitation and impoverishment of the African continent,” Jahumpa continued.
“We will rather die then be colonized twice.”