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E.U. Removes Ambassador to Tanzania Amid Antigay Crackdown

E.U. to Withdraw Ambassador to Tanzania Surrounding Controversy

Weeks after Gov. Paul Makonda's anti-LGBTQ arrests in Dar es Salaam, the European Union withdraws their ambassador from Tanzania.

The head of the European Union's delegation to Tanzania, Roeland van de Geer, has been withdrawn from the African nation due to the homophobic witch hunts that have been plaguing the country for the last few weeks, CNN reports.

The withdrawal cites "deterioration of the human rights and rule of law" due to the rampant homophobic actions Gov. Paul Makonda has called for in the city of Dar es Salaam.

The actions include calling for a list of names of LGBTQ citizens to be arrested, and Makonda's 17-person committee dedicated to finding LGBTQ Tanzanians on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. The witch hunt seems to be successful -- this weekend 10 men were arrested at a raid on Pongwe Beach for "holding a gay wedding" though they were likely only attending a party, according to Amnesty International U.K. Local activists fear those arrested will be subjected to invasive anal exams, which local officials believe will reveal their sexual orientation.

The E.U. has been a major supporter of Tanzania, pledging to donate more than $700 million between 2014 and 2020, though they are now reviewing their relationship with the country.

Even with all the controversy, Makonda is not backing down on his homophobic views and is remaining vigilant in his actions to arrest LGBTQ citizens, according to reports.

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