Ugandan Homophobia Could Complicate States’ ‘Shadow War’ With Somali Militants: Report

UgandanPaperThe United State government has said that it will not provide aid or assistance to nations that criminalize homosexuality.

While that's not entirely true — look at Egypt, for example, where gay people are institutionally ostracized — David Axe at Wired reports that the Ugandan government's zealous crusade against LGBT people may complicate a "proxy shadow war" the U.S. has been waging against Somali militants:

The growing LGBT schism between the U.S. and Uganda threatens one of the most remarkable alliances in recent years. Since the deaths of 18 American troops in Mogadishu in 1993 — the Black Hawk Down incident — the U.S. has been reluctant to deploy significant forces onto Somali soil, even as Islamic militants took advantage of a devastating civil war to seize huge swaths of the East African country.

Instead, Washington recruited proxy armies to do American bidding in Somalia. The Pentagon’s direct involvement includes naval bombardments, air strikes and deadly commando raids launched from a constellation of secret bases. But U.S.-trained and -supported African troops do most of the hard fighting, and almost all of the dying, in the grinding battle against Somali Islamists. America’s Somalia intervention isn’t just a shadow war — it’s a proxy shadow war.

But Kampala’s persecution of gays could compel Washington to end the alliance before it has a chance to expand beyond the Somalia campaign.

Officials say that Uganda is the second most important military ally we have on the Eastern African coast. Do you really think the Defense Department is going to call of its actions to uphold LGBT rights? And, more importantly, do you think the Ugandan government will change its tune to keep reaping in that sweet, sweet American dollar?


  1. BZ says

    I read these facts just the opposite: since the US and the Ugandan governments have strong financial and political incentives to continue working together, it seems likely to me that the Uganda Parliament will find a way to table this odious piece of anti-LGBT legislation. Note that the sponsors of this “kill-the-gays” bill are not frontbenchers. Why would the Ugandan government want to go to bat for them?

  2. Canadian Observer says

    The last paragraph of this piece is kind of fascinating. Unless Uganda has somehow annexed the neighbouring (and significantly larger) Kenya, it has no coast. Sorry, but bordering Lake Victoria doesn’t count. I suggest these “Officials” (perhaps they are from the State Department) or maybe the editor of this piece (since it seems to be a paraphrase rather than a direct quote) spend some time in summer school doing remedial geography.

  3. Hollywood, CA says

    Here’s what needs to happen: All you brilliant gays who are excellent at photoshop and video manipulation, need to target some of these homophobic murderers in power and photoshop their heads onto some gay sex shots. Distribute them to all the Ugandan newspapers, and see how quickly their tunes change.

  4. Seth says

    “the second most important military ally we have on the Eastern African coast”

    Who writes such laughably lame sentences? I can honestly say that Andrew Belonsky is the best writer on Towleroad named Andrew Belonsky.

  5. Vin says

    Belonsky is the poseur who uses words like “problematize” in his posts. He thinks that writing like a “queer” theorist makes him sound smart, but it really makes him an insufferable d-bag.

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