Homosexuals have been branded “vermin” by an African president – plunging the continent to a new low over its anti-gay rhetoric.
The comments came from Yahya Jammeh, president of Gambia, who said his government would tackle gays in the same way it fights malaria-causing mosquitoes.
It comes amid a renewed crackdown on same-sex relationships in Africa, where homosexuality is illegal in 37 countries.
“We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively,” Jammeh said in a speech on state television to mark the 49th anniversary of Gambia’s independence from Britain.
Britain and some other Western nations have threatened to cut aid to governments that pass anti-gay laws.
But Jammeh said his country would defend its sovereignty and Islamic beliefs, and not yield to outside pressure on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.
“We will therefore not accept any friendship, aid or any other gesture that is conditional on accepting homosexuals or LGBT as they are now baptised by the powers that promote them,” he said.
“As far as I am concerned, LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence,” he added.