18 July 2016
By Taliesin Cormach - QL SA
The African Union Commissioner for social affairs, Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, told journalists at the African Union summit in Kigali on Friday that the AU would not be campaigning around lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersexual rights because the continental body does not have a common position on it and instead the African Union will be focusing on combating child marriages.
However, when asked about violence against members of the LGBTI community in Africa, Kaloko said the opposite, AND the same:
"That's not the kind of problem that you can ignore. We are not ignoring the problem. We are just saying at the present moment we don’t have a common African position on LGBTI rights.
"The issues I'm talking about now [child marriage and female genital mutilation] are the issues that my department is mandated to handle".
These issues were pronounced on in an assembly of AU heads of state, whereas LGBTI issues were ignored.
Homosexuality is criminalised in a number of African countries and in some, even punishable by death.
Ironically this year's theme for the African Union IS human rights, with a specific focus on women's rights, Which worryingly highlights the fact that the African Union's eschewed human rights policies completely exclude LGBT rights and LGBT equality issues.