Tanzania Distances Itself From Anti-Homosexuality Campaign

(Bloomberg) -- Tanzania disowned a crackdown on homosexual, bisexual, trans-gender and inter-sex people in the commercial capital announced by a local government official, as the action planned to begin this week drew criticism.

The regional commissioner for Dar es Salaam, Paul Makonda, last week announced the creation of a surveillance team to identify and punish homosexuals, prostitutes and cyber crime offenders.

“The government of the United Republic of Tanzania would like to clarify that those are his own views and not the government position,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

Human rights group Amnesty International asked the Tanzanian government last week to halt the planned crackdown and the U.S. warned its citizens in the East African nation to remain vigilant. Homosexuality is illegal in the East Africa nation and offenders risk jail for at least 30 years or even life imprisonment.

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