News in brief

Uganda: Anti-gay legislation due to be passed

Uganda will pass new law against homosexuality by the end of the year. The speaker of the Ugandan parliament Rebecca Kadaga called the new law a “Christmas gift” to Ugandas who are, she says, “demanding” new legislation.

Being gay is already a crime in Uganda, but the proposed new law will mean harsher sentencing for people convicted. The bill proposes jail terms for homosexual acts, including a life sentence in certain circumstances. It also prohibits the “promotion” of gay rights and calls for the punishment of anyone who “funds or sponsors homosexuality” or “abets homosexuality”. A clause which calls for the death penalty against people found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” – defined as when one of the participants is a minor, HIV-positive, disabled or a “serial offender” – is to be removed.

The bill has received widespread condemnation in the international community, with US President Barack Obama labelling it “odious”.

Central African Republic: President Francois Bozize’s orders son’s arrest

CAR’s President Francois Bozize has reportedly ordered the detention of his own son over the latter’s alleged refusal to pay an outstanding hotel bill.

Kevin Bozize had reportedly run up a bill of 12,000 euros at five-star Ledger Hotel in the nation’s capital Bangui, prompting his detention.

Mr Bozize Junior is the latest in a string of high profile figures to have amassed large debts at the hotel, according to Associated Foreign Press.

Ivory Coast: Government dissolved by President Ouattara

The government of the Ivory Coast has been dissolved by President Alassane Ouattara. Confirming the surprise move a spokeswoman for the president said that the cabinet had been dissolved, but did not give a reason as to why.

The political situation in Ivory Coast remains fragile after the hugely divisive election of 2010 which brought Mr Ouattara to power. Mr Outtara won a presidential runoff against the incumbent, Laurent Gbagbo. After Mr Gbagbo refused to concede victory United Nations air strikes were used to force his hand. Mr Gbagbo was arrested in April this year.

According to an unnamed government official, the dissolution of parliament was due to a proposed new family law bill the government had been trying to push through. Cross-party politicking has thus far meant the bill has been blocked, leading President Ouattara to “start afresh”, according to the aide.

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