Rwanda slams UK decision to withhold aid

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Rwanda saddened by US decision freeze aid

Rwanda’s Foreign Minister, Louis Mushikiwabo

The UK government announced Friday it was freezing its aid to Rwanda basing on allegations contained in the UN Group of Experts on the conflict in DRC, a decision that Rwanda government says is “ unfortunate and undermines pursuit of peace in the region”

Rwanda’s foreign Affairs Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, said the UN report contains allegations that are false and that continuing with same falsehood does not make it a fact. “The repetition of false accusations does not make them true” Mushikiwabo said in a statement.

According to the Minister, DRC had and still has complex governance and security challenges that have troubled the area for many years, a reason why blaming Rwanda without first concentrate on the root of the matter might suit short term political ends while it ultimately hinders the whole understanding of the affliction; pushing away an effective solution that would be permanent in the region.

“False, politically-motivated allegations against Rwanda serve the purposes of those who would rather ignore their responsibilities and not face up to the complex governance and security challenges that have afflicted the DRC over many decades” the Minister Argued

On the contrary to what the UK government has decided, Minister Mushikiwabo said that Rwanda would continue to be part of the solution within the ICGLR; adding that “The bottom line for Rwanda is stability in Eastern DRC and in the region”

Kigali government has also reminded the International community and Britain in particular that Rwanda will not be discouraged by UK’s inconsiderate decision but will continue the work started with member states in the Great Lakes Region hoping that the international community will support the process and contribute positively. “The bottom line for Rwanda is stability in Eastern DRC and in the region – this is what is important for us.”  Mushikiwabo stressed.

Rwanda’s foreign minister furthered saying that the action by the UK harms Rwanda while it does not do anything that helps combat the situation in the Democratic republic of Congo.

“Leveraging aid and development funds to punish or reward the perceived conduct of recipients, or to placate domestic critics, is contrary to the partnership philosophy that has helped make the collaboration between Rwanda and the UK among the most successful of its kind.”

This becomes the second time that Britain withholds its aid to Rwanda, after it did the same in July 2012 when it withheld £16m but the money was restored by Andrew Mitchell the predecessor of the international development secretary Justine Greening.  On this Friday 30th November 2012, UK’s international development secretary Justine Greening has again announced that £21m of budget support – money that goes directly to the Kigali government – due to be handed over next month will not now be released.

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Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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