By Jane Nambi
The United Kingdom (UK) and Netherlands have also halted aid to Rwanda amidst reports of the country’s president, Paul Kagame aiding the rebel group in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), M23 which is being accused of several war crimes including recruiting child soldiers.
The government of UK is delaying £16m ($25m) in budget support to Rwanda as it is considering if the aid conditions have been meant. The aid was due this month. The UK and Netherlands have joined the US in withholding the aid amidst reports of aiding and abetting of DRC rebel group, M23.
Total UK aid to Rwanda in the year 2012-13 is projected to be about $118m.
However, Rwanda has rejected the allegations in a UN report which said that Rwanda was aiding M23 rebels in DRC. Rwanda’s foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo said the report was “one-sided” according to BBC. “It’s a wake-up call for Rwanda… to figure out a way to sustain our development without being subjected to bullying and pressure from donors,” Louise Mushikiwabo Rwandan foreign minister said.
New information came in from a senior UN official who said that those who are defecting from the M23 say they were recruited from Rwanda.
The Dutch foreign ministry also confirmed it would no longer be making payments worth $6.15m (£3.9m) to Rwanda’s aid budget until it had received reassurances from Kigali that they are not involved with the M23. The money was going to be used to improve the country’s judicial system.
Mrs Mushikiwabo explained to UN experts visiting the country this week saying that any decision to suspend aid based on the UN report was “taken on evidence that does not exist”. “More importantly I think it’s a wake-up call for Rwanda and other aid recipient countries to actually start fending for ourselves and figure out a way to sustain our development without being subjected to bullying and pressure from donors,” she said.