Where the purveyors of hate take funding from State Dept USAID…
By Cathy Kristofferson, May 16, 2013
Secretary of State, John Kerry is headed to Ethiopia this weekend for the 21st African Union (AU) summit May 19-27. While at the summit he will attend the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organization of African Unity, the predecessor to the current African Union. Secretary Kerry has expressed dismay that countries like China and Iran are outspending the U.S.A. in Africa to ‘detrimental’ effects. It is however disturbing and quite clear that the U.S. isn’t doing enough about the ‘detrimental’ effects of our previous import to many African nations – homophobia! Ethiopia is hosting the event and this comment on the State Department’s blog indicates some Ethiopians’ thoughts:
“Please don’t say Kerry is to visit Ethiopia. The plan is not to visit Ethiopia but to visit AU office which is located in Addis Ababa Ethiopia which they could not aviod [sic]”.
That is too bad because Ethiopia, as we have reported here on OBLOGDEE, is currently competing with Zambia for this year’s award for the WORST human rights record towards the gay community. This would add to Ethiopia’s long litany of human rights violation awards no doubt. The week long summit would provide plenty of time for the US Secretary of State to talk with members of the African Union about many of their appalling human rights records despite the AU’s embrace of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights has expressed grave concern about Ethiopia’s persecution of journalists and peaceful activists. Everyone has expressed grave concern about Ethiopia’s new found enthusiasm for persecuting the LGBTI community a known stalwart tactic for deflecting media attention from the real woes of government employed throughout the African continent.
Commenting on unnamed officials participating in bad practices such as bribery, Kerry said:
“So we’re going to have to be more engaged in Africa”
We say good! Other bad practices need to be addressed as well! Like ignoring the UDHR completely in many countries!
Now it has been reported that the US government is funding these purveyors of hate & homophobia with USAID monies to the Ethiopian Interfaith Forum for Development, Dialogue and Action (EIFDDA), a consortium of organizations representing 97% of the population. As we reported here recently, United for Life Ethiopia – the Western Evangelical group who organized two national anti-homosexuality conferences – did so by partnering with the very Interfaith Consortium who receives their funding from USAID.
We are not ones to call for threatening to cut US aid money, as typically that only results in a backlash and further scapegoating against the LGBTI community, leading to more threats and violence, by the population at large. Secretary Kerry has the opportunity to speak to leaders quietly about such funding and its use by organizations whose mission and actual activities seem to be in conflict with international agreements.
The Secretary should also speak loudly about the human rights violations that are occurring across the African continent many times perpetrated by the governments themselves.
Hence we are asking the same question here again as we did in the OBLOGDEE piece “Will Secretary of State John Kerry do enough to help LGBT international human rights” which quoted his press release of April 14th, not one month ago:
“Secretary of State John Kerry has committed to advancing the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals as a central part of our human rights engagement.”
We will hope to see that commitment in action starting this weekend in the latest hotbed of homophobia Ethiopia!
- Zambia and Ethiopia are the ‘next Uganda’ (oblogdeeoblogda.me)
- Will Secretary of State John Kerry do enough to help LGBT international human rights (oblogdeeoblogda.me)