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EXCLUSIVE-U.S. targets aid in Uganda, cancels military exercise over homosexuality law

Source: Reuters - Thu, 19 Jun 2014 18:18 GMT
Author: Reuters
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Supporters of the anti-gay law prepare for a procession backing the signing of the anti-gay bill into law, in Uganda's capital Kampala March 31, 2014. REUTERS/Edward Echwalu
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WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday canceled a regional military exercise in Uganda, imposed visa restrictions, diverted funds for a health institute to another country and cut funding for a Ugandan police program in response to a law that imposes harsh penalties for homosexuality.

Senior U.S. administration officials, speaking before the announcement by the White House, said the stepped up measures were carefully targeted at those responsible for abuses related to implementation of the anti-gay law and involved in corruption.

The officials said the steps would not directly impact HIV/AIDS and food programs that benefit ordinary Ugandans.

"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.

(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Susan Heavey)

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