News of Rwanda (Kigali)

26 November 2012

Rwanda: Essential Work for Rwandans Should Not Stop Because of DR Congo Issues - Tony Blair

The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) Mr. Tony Blair has challenged the idea of some donors including his own country that insist on threats to withhold or even halt financial aid to Rwanda due to several accusations that the later country has been backing a rebel group known as M-23; a claim that Kigali Government continue to deny.

In a statement through his spokesperson, Mr. Blair acknowledges that Rwanda has gone from what he explained as "a country racked by genocide to one that has lifted over a million people out of poverty, with rapid improvements in health and education" adding that, a recent study by the British Government showed that Rwanda was one of the most effective users of aid in the world.

Describing his work and that of his African charity (AGI) to support the Government of Rwanda, the statement stressed on what Blair and African charity do to improve the social and economic development of the country - working on crucial issues like agriculture and access to electricity. "This is making a difference to the lives of ordinary people". The spokesperson added

The former UK Prime Minister's assertion did not ignore the situation in Goma that he referred to as a concerning issue and that he is with his country supporting the calls made by the countries of the Great Lakes and especially by DRC, Rwanda and Uganda for M23 to withdraw immediately.

Mr. Blair's declaration used the word 'BUT' to explain why he does not find why ordinary Rwandans should be punished over DR Congo dispute. "But we disagree 'with the idea' that essential work for the people in Rwanda should stop because of the dispute in the Congo. The proper thing is to sort out that issue through the ICGLR and the international community, and to continue to support the progress of Rwanda in the lives of the people."

DR Congo has again encountered war with a rebel groups namely M-23 that is presently operating in the City of Goma which it captured on 20th November 2012. The city is said to be the main richest in resources in the Eastern Congo.

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