EU to review relations with Tanzania, recalls ambassador

The European Union has said it will review its ties with Tanzania over what it calls a “deterioration of the human rights and rule of law” in the east African nation.

In a statement released this week, the EU said it “will be conducting a broader review of its relations with Tanzania.”

The EU, a major donor to Tanzania has pledged more than $700 million in support between 2014 and 2020.

The announcement comes a week after the bloc called back its ambassador, Roeland van de Geer, to “discuss the situation in Tanzania”.

Two months ago, the EU expressed concerns over allegations of human rights violations in Tanzania, citing arbitrary arrests of rights activists, journalists, bloggers and Members of Parliament.

Last week, the regional governor of Dar es Salaam, Paul Makonda, called on the public to report names of suspected gay men to the police. LGBT people face a 30-year jail sentence in Tanzanian.

Since coming to power in the country of 55 million in 2015, President Magufuli, nicknamed “the bulldozer” from his time as roads minister, has banned political rallies and mutilated bodies have washed up on the shores of Coco Beach in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital.

Earlier this year, 65 civil society groups have called on the Tanzanian Government to address rapidly deteriorating environment for media, human rights defenders and opposition party members.